Friday, January 28, 2011

Plein Air in COLD weather!

(in the open air)

Below is a fellow plein air artist's painting on his easel at the camp our Indiana Plein Air Painters Association (IPAPA) stayed at this past weekend.  It was FRIGID in temperature (about 15 F) but our spirits were warm!  The countryside surrounding the camp near Bean Blossom, Indiana is very beautiful.  Fresh snow which, had blanketed the area just the day prior to our arrival, made for even more magnificent scenery than usual. 

 I took quite a few photos... so I have plenty of work ahead of me in the studio.  However, there is no better way to capture the feel and accuracy of atmosphere from a location than to paint it as you stand there in front of it in real life.   The below images show a barn with my painting of it below.  One is not striving for perfection necessarily when painting outside.  Perfection is relative, anyway.  But one is trying to capture an impression of how it appears at that time.   

10"h x 8"w oil on canvas
displayed on metal stand

I had an issue with the light in my painting here.  The foreground seems to be affected by an overcast sky while the background behind the barn indicates a sunny atmosphere.  This was pointed out to me during our critique session.  I forget who pointed it out or I would give them credit.  Anyway, I agreed and said that was exactly right - I had not thought about it at the time of painting.  I had been standing out there painting away (the day had been mostly overcast with periods of sunlight) when the sun popped out.  I was struck by the beautiful blue shadows cast upon the snow and figured I had to capture them before they disappeared again.  I had not even thought about the sun's affect on the foreground at that time.  I have begun to paint this scene again in the studio - hoping to correct the lighting situation.

I'm learning!  And IPAPA is a group of real pros!  This type of painting does not come easy to me.  But it is an enjoyable challenge!


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