Hay Bales at Fisher Farm, 8x10, acrylic on panel, copyright 2011 Jan Blencowe
After dropping off six paintings at Petrini Fine Art Gallery in Avon today I went exploring and did a small plein air painting at Fisher Farm.
It was a broiling 96 degrees and I was so glad I had my umbrella and plenty of water. Several years ago I had a bad experience while plein air painting on an extremely hot day. Too long in the sun and not enough water brought on heat exhaustion, not fun. Now I am very careful to stay in the shade, drink plenty of water and quit after an hour or an hour and a half, depending on how I feel.
I like what David Dunlop says during his plein air painting DVD, he says he's not married to the scene and feels completely free to rearrange, and compose to make the best painting possible and that's what I like to do too.
The hay bales were all over, just not in the particular section of field I wanted to paint, but I moved them into my picture plane. The field was very wide but my 8x10 canvas wasn't a great shape to capture that so I narrowed the field and brought the white flowering shrub from the right forward and into my foreground.
I came home with a good start, which is all I ever hope for when plein air painting, as I prefer to finish the details and glazing in the comfort of my studio.
We had a massive thunderstorm this evening, but now all is quiet and I'm looking forward to curling up in my chair and reading.
Don't forget, Maple & Main Gallery in Chester has the opening for the Summer exhibit tomorrow, Friday evening from 5-8pm. it's a spectacular show, very diverse and exciting. I'll be there if you'd like to stop in and chat. I'll be wearing a name tag so don't be shy about coming over and introducing yourself!
On Saturday I'll be at the Arts Center of Tolland, my solo show Beyond Place: Landscapes for the Soul is on exhibit and I'll be there painting and ready to chat and answer questions about the methods of painting I use.
Summer is here and I feel abundant and refreshed getting out to paint today. I hope you all give drawing or painting outdoors a try. It's amazing how much we gain from spending time in nature!