June 24, 2016

More Plein Air Advice....

Great Bear Islet, 8X10"

Boy, I just never seem to get tired of talking about my plein air lessons.  I hope you, dear readers are not yet wearied by my extensive pontifications. 

 When I say "my plein air lessons" I am not talking about formal lessons that I receive, but rather the informal lessons that mother nature doles out to me on a regular basis.  Every time I set up, there is the potential for a total  ass-whoopin'.

This is a scene from my amazing trip into the Great Bear Rainforest in northern BC.  Such rare beauty - and unusual conditions.

Here's a few things that this painting taught me:
1. Clouds change faster than the tide does
2. Clouds don't necessarily drift - they can go poof into non existense in the time it takes to mix your next puddle.
3. Tides change faster than you expect them to
4. Set up your gear where the sand is dry....that will give you an indication of where the high tide line is.
5. Arriving on site with a tidal schedule is a prudent move.
6. Reflective water surfaces can change in a nano second, depending on the wind (and the tide, of course)

Cloud were sketched in hastily with a few marks to show me the shapes as I initially saw them, because I know they would change within the space of a few minutes.  I painted them in a little later, but drew them immediately.

Next I drew in the islet and reflection, blocking in large masses quickly.  I painted the reflection first just in case a breeze rose and took that information away.  I thought the tide was going out - but alas, it was coming in.  I had to move my gear to higher ground TWICE.  That wasted some valuable painting time.  Still, my gear got a little wet around the edges.  When the beach slope is shallow, the tide comes in faster.  Waaaaaay faster.  Note to self.

I never cease to be humbled by how great a teacher these situations are, and the thrill of the chase engages me as few other things do. 

Next weekend (July 2,3)  I will be teaching plein air in the lower mainland, and I still have a couple spots left - touch base if you are feeling intrepid .  CLICK HERE for details.  Scroll to "Plein Air Essentials" and read all about it.

Till next time, then.  Keep that paint flying!


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