Wednesday, September 22, 2010

En Plein Air

For my birthday this year I treated myself to a French Easel so I could start painting outdoors.  There is nothing quite like finding a great spot and working on location.  I have been reading a great blog lately by Stapleton Kearns who got me inspired to get outside.  His blog is incredibly useful and full of everything you need to know regarding outdoor painting.  Plus he seems like a fun guy and is a hell of a painter.

For my first venture, I went out to Mt. Greylock, and camped out at the base in a meadow looking south.  I worked for about 4 hours in the field before bringing it back to the studio to finish it off.  Not bad for someone who hasn't done something like this in a while...

For my nest venture, I traveled south to Kripalu in Lenox.  Another beautiful place to paint.  Looking out over Stockbridge Bowl surrounded by peace and quiet, I set up my easel on the grounds of Kripalu and set to work.. This is where I am after about 6 hours.  I think I'll take it back to the studio to finish it off, or I might head back out on location.  We will see when I get a chance to get back out.  

The leaves are changing and Fall is such a wonderful time to be outside.  I've got a list of places that I want to paint.  I'll try to post them as I make them.  I'm shooting for one a week.

On a side note, I had a catastrophic easel failure today (second time it has happened) where the a leg suddenly collapses.  this time it smashed my turpentine jar and so I had to go home early.  Totally lame.  I've got an idea about how to rig the easel so this NEVER happens again.  Imagine... the whole rig just suddenly falls to one side.  I've got 5 paint brushes in 2 hands, and a paint soaked cloth. The easel has my full palette, extra brushes, turpentine jar, rags, and canvas attached.  what do you drop and what do you grab.  I'm with you.  I grabbed the wet canvas.  It only smudged a little. everything else lay scattered on the ground.

All in all, it was a very fun time and I can't wait to get back out there.

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