Sunday, March 21, 2010

Warm weather means plein air!

Next month I'll be attending the annual Local Color Plein Air Painting competition in Raleigh. Always before I've trotted over and worked, usually in sheer terror, on my first plein air painting of the year. This year I've decided that I'm going to do a plein air painting each weekend until then so I'm in fightin' form! Watch out, world!

Plein air is a hoot. If I didn't beat myself up each time, I'd really enjoy it. You're getting out into the world, looking at how colors really are and what things truly look like out there, like trees. Did you know that the Impressionists, many of whom got their inspiration/techniques from working en plein air, could only do so because paint in tubes had just started to be available?

Competitions are another level of terror entirely. For Local Color, we've got to check in around 9 AM, get our canvases stamped so we can't cheat and bring in some masterpiece from our studio, and then report back by 4 or so with a framed painting. No pressure! Not even bladder pressure once you've been out standing for three hours or so, sipping from a bucket of iced tea as the temperature climbs and the shadows move.

Anyway, to relieve part of that pressure, I'm practicing. This is the first one, and one of my first attempts at flowers (which are on my list of things to learn this year). These daffs are blooming next to the bottom of the steps leading to my front door. So handy for the first time out! I can just run into the house and grab whatever I've forgotten. "Oh right, bug spray!"

These daffs are so cheery, just the right thing after such a long and snowy winter. I hope you enjoy them!

"March's Daffodils" 8x10" acrylic on Gessobord. All materials are archival. $75, shipping included


Martin Gray said...

That's lovely, it'd be great to see you paint something over here.

Carol A. Strickland said...

Thanks! One of these days I'll be able to take off with my paints and just rattle around different countries, including the US.