It’s two weeks ago now since I joined the Peace Watercolour Society at the Bear Mountain Wind Park, just south of my hometown, for an afternoon of plein air painting.
I really very rarely paint outdoors; mostly painting for me is moments snatched between full time mommy-ing, home schooling and paperwork for a couple of organizations. It’s much easier to dash into the studio for a half hour of painting than to pack everything up and paint on location. It was incredibly windy that day and I found the most sheltered spot I could that still had a view (photo above).
I hadn’t brought my usual palette, and I struggled with creating the darks I wanted to really get the values in the rocks. The intense wind made for a pretty quick drying time, and I see why most plein air painters call their outdoor paintings sketches, or pre-studio work. It’s great to be able to be right inside the scene you’re painting, but not so easy to cooperate with the wind, bugs, dust & weather.
For my second sketch, I sat a little more exposed, overlooking the valley below the towers. This painting felt more effective, despite the paint spatters from when the wind threw my palette across my lap!
I always hope to do more plein air painting than I do, and after this afternoon’s results, I’m seeing that it’s a good learning experience, even though there are also a lot of distractions.