Friday, September 9, 2011
Plein air Maine with artist partner Summer 2011
At 6 am each day we were ready to leave our motel (Robins Motel in Bar Harbor, Maine) a no frills economical artists' place to stay. We were packed and ready with our art supplies and prepared for any weather (yeah right!) You can never be fully prepared for any situation that could arise while plein air painting or any weather condition that God can orchestrate for you! Actually I think Plein Air Painting is much like life itself! It is HOW YOU HANDLE IT THAT COUNTS!
I had been to Acadia National Park in Maine about 13 yrs ago with a dear artist friends, Michael and Dot Stoffa, wonderful painters from Rockport Mass. and fell in love with some of the areas that had taken me to. So I was on a quest each day trying to find these places that had inspired me so long ago. The park had many winding road and one way situations as well. So there was a great deal of driving and backtracking to find our way to locations that we thought we might like to paint. It is good to get some information from other artists(if they are willing to share) some of their favorite places to paint to save time. Wasting time is not something either Jan nor I like to do.
We found some locations out of the way of the normal tourist routes. We would jump out of our "Art Van" each time we saw a spot that sang out to us and we would set up our easels as fast as we could to record what we felt about what we saw before us.
Primarily a portrait painter, plein air can be quite challenging but very exciting. It is catching the light, feeling an emotion about what you see out of doors and making quick judgements concerning your own painting process.
When things were forgotten, dropped, spilled, lost the frustration took away from the natural creative flow. When the wind picked up and took our umbrellas, knocking over our supplies or easels, we had to hold on , pick up, wipe off, adjust and just continue on. The sun and atmosphere has you on a timer and you have to get it done.
I was located a distance for her and while standing at my easel the wind picked up my container of turp and splashed it right on to the little wet oil painting I was working on. I had to paint while holding on to my easel and umbrella in order to continue.
That morning we were a mess, paint, sand and turp all over us. And we went on to the next two locations for the rest of the day.