June 6, 2016

Extreme Painting

Look closely....see all those black flies?   These are the ones that didn't get to bite me!

Painting in progress - I will have to do some tweaking in the studio.

Facing into the wind as it kept the flies at bay.

The scene beyond the painting

Here are some photos from my painting trek yesterday.  I thought, seeing as we are heading into plein air season here in Canada, that you might be interested to hear about my adventure.

I am up in Smithers - and it is amazingly beautiful here.  My painting buddy Poppy suggested a hike to the top of this mountain (with full painting gear, of course).  Poppy is super fit - I am not, which became painfully clear as the hike progressed.   It was a slog for me, and I was drenched in sweat by the time we reached the top (bugs are attracted to sweat)  but the vista was worth it.  

Bugs.  OMG.  Hungry bugs. Not just mosquitos but black flies.  Typically when painting I search for a spot out of the wind - on this trek I searched for a spot where the wind was whipping, thereby making it harder for the bugs to find their target.  They like your eyes - I can't stand hair in my eyes while doing anything, particularly painting, but my bangs were protecting my eyes somewhat.  I thought about putting my sunglasses on, but I had already stepped on them with my hiking boots, so....

I couldn't set up facing my scene because of the angle of the sun.  My palette was in the sun, and support in the shade, which is not good.   Too windy to set up an umbrella, so I painted with the scene to my right, with the wind whipping in my face.  The wind was strong enough I had to weight my box.

The bugs kept landing in my paint - and although I respect all life forms, I chose to paint through.  The bugs are actually immortalized in my painting.  :/

The conditions were a huge distraction to the painting process, but dealing with those conditions forces a level of focus.  No time for daydreaming, get down the essential stuff as quickly as possible. The wind is howling and the bugs are a-biting.

Plein air adventures are not usually this challenging - and despite the bugs, wind, and heavy pack on a steep hike, I had a GREAT time.  How amazing to have the excuse to spend the entire day someplace this beautiful.  Arriving home I had a sense of having sucked the marrow out of the day - and a cold cider never tasted better.

I wish you all many such adventures!

Speaking of plein air adventures:


Where: Langley area
When: July 2,3, and 9, 10 ( two subsequent weekends)
Price: $350
Contact: gayemadams@gmail.com

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