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.

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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).

plein air bear mountain | Angela Fehr watercolours https://angelafehr.com

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.

wind tower panorama  | Angela Fehr https://angelafehr.com

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!

plein aire bear mountain | Angela Fehr Watercolours https://angelafehr.com

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.