Thursday, September 22, 2016

Plein Air Painting

Painting Outdoors

I have been lucky to paint en plein air in the last two weeks.  It has been enjoyable.  Painting en plein air or out-of-doors in nature under the elements is a challenge but a good experience.  I recently spent a week in Nova Scotia which included a 2-day workshop in Chester under the tutelage of Poppy Balser, a watercolour artist from Digby.  She put on a wonderful event for 12 students where we painted ocean scenes mainly from the front veranda of the Chester Yacht Club.  There was a wonderful view there of the harbour with many sailboats of various kinds and yachts moored out front.  Below is a view of the Chester Harbour from the Yacht Club.  The sun was brilliant that day making interesting white ripples on the water.

Chester Harbour from Yacht Club

Shown below is another view showing the west side of the harbour.

Chester Harbour
Paint the Past was held at Kings Landing, NB this past weekend.  It is an annual event where juried artists set up and paint relevant scenes from the Landing over two days.  It is a fund raiser for the Kings Landing Foundation.  Twenty-one artists were there and about 55 paintings were framed and on display at the reception held late Sunday afternoon.  The paintings were judged by a panel and the winning painting was done by Sharon Levesque.  Congratulations, Sharon!

Shown below are the two I painted.  The Lint House was done in bright light.  It is a very old, small house, built in 1830.  I sat in the garden to paint this one with apples falling from the tree over my head.  The wagons were dropping off and picking up passengers right across the fence from me making dust and lots of excited conversation from the happy people.

The Lint House
The second day was very rainy so I painted from inside St. Mark's Church.  It was dark in there because there were no lights, of course, it being a 19th century building.  I enjoyed the ambiance there for the time I worked inside.

St. Mark's Church, Kings Landing
"Plein air painting is much more difficult than painting in the studio."  I heard that comment many times over the weekend from the artists.  For some it was their first time.  One has to brave the elements, people, weather, etc.  In many cases it is done standing up and the light is also very variable.  Often the scene looks very different when the painting is half done than it was when starting.  Light is a big part of the painting and it changes in plein air work.  That adds to the challenge.

Please note that blowing up paintings in a digital form makes them look different than they are in real form.  Enjoy and consider doing some painting yourselves.

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