Part of the fun for Plein Air Painting is trekking out to a location a getting to enjoy the fresh air and ambiance of the space. Usually. When life allows.
My spring was a spent recovering from a foot injury. A single accident can have major set backs long term effects. So I did not have much opportunity to trek about the hill country with my paint gear. Nor did I get much studio practice painting in while wearing an orthopedic boot. **Since I paint standing up and pace a lot, painting in a boot presented another safety challenge. I also learned to respect the foot. It is critical to staying balanced even on slow days.
Despite my injury, I did squeeze in a local plein air workshop. I had a chance to sit some and observe and absorb many great techniques from a great artist friend. Hard to believe that was nearly 2 months back. I have since then spent little of my free time thinking and sketching compositions for my projects to stay in practice. So now it is nearly summer and it is past time to paint already! I have things to paint.
Aside from any physical injuries, one of the greatest challenges to Plein Air Painting is weather. Good weather and good light, make for dynamic compositions. In Texas we have the added challenges of the heat. So we try to make the most of good locations and good weather. Last weekend was the first opportunity I have had to venture out again with my paint gear. I am very glad I paired down my pack, before I busted my foot. It is still sensitive to long stints of standing. So now I tote along a light weight camp chair too.
I ventured to nearby downtown, with lots of craftsman style house, front yards, and lots of shade trees to sit under. I have to admit I was a bit hesitant to expect any painting results en plein air after so many months off. But I made it a goal to enjoy myself. -Paint what grabbed me and stay true the gesture of the scene. Lock in my shadow shapes, check my values, and keep my paint application clean. (And respect the foot!) I ended up with a fair result and more importantly enjoyable time painting again. Where I did not over stay the light nor over work my painting.
A small painting success of sorts. That leads to great painting energy and motivation. I have at least 3 projects I put on hold – those require a significant amount of plein air painting. I am behind on my schedule to get them done. Now I am challenged trying to free time for painting. So it’s time to get back out there!