May 6, 2010

Painting in Fancy Weather

"Late Day Desert Storm" oil on canvas, 6X8"

As promised, here's my first desert painting.  Liz and I set up to paint and the weather started getting crazy. It was blowing and cold.  I was wearing a down jacket and still got chilled to the bone!   We only got one painting each done on this day because the conditions changed so rapidly that it was tough to get anything down.  For a while I just stood there, not knowing what way to point my easel.  The sun had been out, then it started raining, then it stopped.  What a circus! When some light finally appeared, there was so much to paint it was overwhelming.  A decision had to be made, and this was it.

I am finding that I am learning more and more to utilize visual memory.  Get down the key elements quickly, because the scene will change long before you are finished painting.  On this painting I probably burned up about 45 minutes.  If you are going to paint late day light, you really don't have any more time than that.  I also noted that in the desert, nightfall comes rapidly.  It got dark so quickly, I think that I think I may have left a few brushes on the desert floor!  The whole experience was quite a rush...a kind that you really don't get while painting in the studio.


  1. Very interesting to compare your painting with Liz's! Sounds like you guys had a great experience, both at the workshop and on your plein air days. Nothing is more fun than painting outside!

  2. I really enjoy painting with Liz. She is far more experienced in oils than I am, and I always learn from watching her. Ultimately, I see we have two different styles and we will never paint alike, and that's how it should be.

  3. A gem with gorgeous light, Gaye!