Saturday, July 04, 2009

Thunder Approaching Gillette Castle Plein Air Painting

Thunder Approaching Gilette Castle Plein Air Painting, painting by Jan Blencowe

copyright 2009 Jan Blencowe, Connecticut, USA

About This Painting:
From the new Postcard Paintings of Connecticut Series, that's how I'm going to label and group these paintings.

Style: Plein Air Impressionism

Media: acrylic

Size: 8 in X 6 in (20.3 cm X 15.2 cm)

Price: $150 USD
How to Purchase:
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Like to see more paintings? Visit my website

Adventures in Plein Air Painting

One of the really great things about painting outdoors is the stories that go along with the paintings. Sometimes the day is uneventful, but much more often there are memorable incidents. Yesterday is a case in point.

If you been reading the blog for the last few weeks you know that we have had the most awful weather here in CT. Most of May and June have been damp, rainy, cold and gray. Can you say depressing?

Friday we had sun! Hallelujah! In the afternoon I decided to go to Gillette Castle. I have never painted there before and I was very excited to go. The castle is about 40 min. north of me and I couldn't remember exactly how to get there. I plugged in my faithful GPS and I was off. About 1/3 of the way there (going not the way I remember though) the bridge is out and I must take a detour. OK no big deal. About 1/2 way there the sky ahead is dark with dense rain clouds and then the rain. Alright, not a down pour, it was on and off and you could still see clear, sunny skies to the south and east. I remained optimistic.

I'm following the GPS directions and realize that it's sending me to the ferry. You can get there by ferry (which I totally forgot about) BUT I only had $3 in my wallet and I was pretty sure the ferry was going to cost more than that! So, I turned back and went the way I vaguely remembered, but the rain got worse, but then it got better.

I arrived at the castle walked around the grounds, did some watercolor sketches in my sketchbook, gave out a few cards and chatted with the onlookers. The storm clouds are still up river and not concerning me much yet.

I go back to the car and get my painting gear, (after stopping to get ice cream). I just get started and I can begin to hear thunder in the distance, which I tried to convince myself was really just fireworks. Painting, painting, painting and the thunder is gradually getting louder. Oh, flash of lightening. Quiet. Still sun down river behind the castle. Keep painting. Thunder, flash of lightening. Painting very quickly. My daughter says "Umm aren't we going to leave?" No, no not done yet, a few more minutes. LOUD THUNDER, BIG FLASH! I turn around and the thunderheads are right behind us, you can see them over the trees.

Yikes! Now I'm in a bit of a panic. I lean forward to cover my palette and the edge of my jacket goes right into the paint, transpaent red oxide and ultamarine blue. I instinctively straighten up which makes my jacket fall back against me, now there's paint on my pants too!

Throw everything in the bag and get to the car. Close the car door and......down pour! Very Lucky!

So my daughter and I drive through the torrential rain and thunderstorm, south away from the storm to our favorite Italian resturant for dinner. It's sunny when we arrive. We're sitting on one side of the restaurant and while we're eating it begins to rain but only in front of the restaurant, no kidding. I could look across the restaurant and see the rain through the front windows and yet I could look out the window I was sitting next to and it was sunny and dry LOL

Weird, and yet strangely typical for New England weather.

Tomorrow the painting I did after dinner! Stay Tuned!

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1 comment:

PALS said...

Nice Painting.. I've been trying to paint but couldn't produce good painting.. Huhuhu :(