Friday, May 13, 2011


On Wednesday I went to beautiful Chanticleer to paint.  It was a  magnificent day and the gardens are as always simply exquisite.  I am trying to warm up for the Wayne Art Center Plein Air Festival which is next week.  I have never participated in a Plein Air Paint Out before.
When I applied to enter, I thought it would be a good way to force myself back into the wilds of painting outside. I had no idea I would be painting with 29 of the best plein air painters in the country ... or that I would have to bring my still wet canvas back to the art center framed, the same day I painted it, each day for five days.
So I had to figure out how best to frame a wet painting and try to get into some kind of shape to paint outside again after a year or so of contentedly painting in my studio with brief excursions outside to look for material.
My first outdoor painting was my last post, completed in my garden, a quiet place to be with not too much weather turbulence.  My experience at Chanticleer was quite the oposite.  I positioned myself in front of a very big scene with lots of people walking by talking to me or peering over my shoulder.  I had a very tiny canvas.  The sun was moving in and out of clouds constantly.  I ended up with something of a mud pie.  The interactions with people were all pleasant—especially the boys from Valley Forge Military academy who were polite as could be.  After I explained what I was aiming for in the painting, one of them said, "Good luck Ma'am".  Ah ... so sweet, he could probably see I needed some luck. 
Well here is the mud pie.  I have "photoshopped" the image to give some indication of what I was aiming for in the second image.  Still pretty bad.  I will try not to paint in such a busy spot and not tackle such a huge scene next time.
Looks like this is going to be quite a learning experience.