8X10 plein air study of Crystal Cove, oil on canvas panel
Okay, the NUMBER ONE reason to plein air paint - look at the places you get to spend time! Places you might not otherwise seek out. And in that painting process is a sense of "processing" the place - not just one single moment, but the many moments that come and go during the hour and a half session.
This painting had to be laid in very quickly because it was late afternoon and the sun was moving very rapidly from left to right across the picture plane. Shadows, tones, temperatures were so very transitory.
I was very pleased with this study as I feel it nailed the main thing I was trying to express...the beautiful late day light and atmospheric perspective. I was concerned when I started the study that I wouldn't be able to get it all down before the sun moved straight into my eyes - which always makes seeing the values and colors so difficult.
And it did change quickly, luckily not before I had the major stuff in place. I synthesized the information way down, otherwise I would not have finished - in fact, the next day I sat down and put finishing touches on it...something I always reserve the right to do. Tweaking shapes is sometimes done best in a more relaxed atmosphere.
The trip was done with some long time painting friends, Alan Wylie, Janice Robertson and Rick and Diane McDairmid, punctuated with a wonderful visit to Mark Hobson's floating studio just a short boat ride up the coast of Muirs island, and I had a great time.
Tough day at the office, huh? Somebody pinch me.
Keep your brushes wet,
PS I have some new workshops coming up that I am very excited about. CLICK HERE