Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Diary of a Plein Air Painter #21

Bends in the Journey, 6x6in. Oil on linen/panel. 

Available Here 
 (You can also read the reflection I wrote on location that accompanies this painting here.)

Monday, July 8, 2013
Big Island, Nova Scotia

10:15-11:30 A.M.

When I awoke this morning a fog had blanketed the world outside. It looked as if the sun would break through. The sun was not predicted to appear today. Excitedly I knew it was a day for a plein air adventure. Quickly, I raced to get ready and get on the road before the moment faded. Big Island was on my mind with its wild and carefree personality.

Once on route, I somehow missed my turn off and had to travel an extra distance to finally reach my destination. What a treat when I arrived; not a soul in sight--the whole island to myself! After doing a couple of walk abouts and jutting to a couple of spots, I settled on a distant view. I loved the little sea path leading around a bend and the swirly sky. Strokes of light colored water streaked across a darker blue.

My Subject

The light would change fast especially near the ocean with a moving cloud cover overhead. I set up quickly and intuitively began a brush dance with my canvas. The sky appeared much lighter that the ocean today. The ocean looked cool with its darker color.

My Set Up


As I painted visitors passed by on bikes. Tourists I could tell as they began to speak French. One proceeded to take my picture enchanted that they should come upon such a sight. One set of visitors stopped their car directly beside me and had complimentary expletives. Once again tourist were upon me, as two of the occupants spoke a foreign language to me. They were all very nice. It is these momentary encounters that add interest to a plein air painters life!

Almost finished

One of my visitors was curious about what scene I was painting as my easel was sideways and the scene before it did not look like the one I was painting, I quickly explained that I had turned my easel sideways to avoid having direct sunlight on my canvas. I told him I would make my values too dark as I over compensated for the bright sunlight on my work. (A plein air tip for today.) I have made that mistake in the past and my painting turns out much darker than I thought it would.

Looking down Big Island Road

A peek hole to the wide open ocean on the other side of the road.

As I was leaving the sun was becoming more scarce. I was so happy I had spontaneously followed my instinct this morning and ventured out into the world of plein air!


P.S. While I was writing my reflection, I noticed a shiny spot in the long grass. It was a little ladybug twinkling in the sunlight. A sign of good luck they say. :)

P.P.S. My car made a great side table today as I had my cup of tea and snack while I wrote this entry. Adjustments; that is what plein air painting is all about. Cheers!

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