Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A bit about our PAINT OUT

The highlight of my painting week is Wednesday, when I "paint out" with a group of painters in a nearby town, Fredericksburg, Virginia.  We are definitely blessed to be surrounded by history galore.  Our leader, Patty O'Brien, selects locations based on aesthetics, ample parking and opportunities for middle agers to use the bathroom indoors. We arrive at 9am at the selected site, and generally work til noon.
Everybody roams around, looking for the perfect spot.  This is also a great opportunity for photography while the light is good.  The peach trees in bloom were really eye catching.  Ginny picked a nice flat spot, off of the road.  She prefers to sit and paint, whereas I prefer to stand so I can back away from my work easily.  Most of the people use umbrellas to shade themselves and their work.
Carol chose to work near the cows.  Cows behave like large puppies, we were informed.  They gather near you because they are nosey, not because they want to attack you.  However, they did grab an umbrella and chew on it a little.  Carol has an extremely regal folding chair.
Many of the painters, like Ginny, also wear a hat for sun protection and eye shading.  It is hard to see accurately if you are squinting from sunlight.  Many of the hats have a chin strap so that you can secure the hat if it is windy.
This is the view I selected (My umbrella has been taken down do to vigorous winds). I choose to do broad paintings from a distance instead of working close up on a subject, using detail.  I try to remember that these paintings are really going to serve as studies for other work later on.  I can refer to my photos and do a larger painting in my studio.
This is my study.  We work for two hours to record the light as we saw it when we started.  After two hours, the sun's change is usually too drastic to keep working.  I have learned to resist the temptation to keep painting because it often destroys the light effect that prompted you to select the spot in the first place.  I also enjoy racing the clock and working consciously to ensure I will be far enough along at the end of our session.  Of course you can touch things up when you arrive home.

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