Sunday, February 24, 2013

Joy -- That Plein Air Feeling

Joy - 8x8 Oil on linen panel

The weather seemed to clear up a bit a few weeks back so I took the chance and headed back to Point Dume to see if I could immerse myself in coreopsis once again.  Although I enjoy painting with friends, sometimes just heading out and painting where and when I want without anyone to answer to is pure joy.

When I arrived at the "secret" parking area I had found the previous week, I realized it wasn't so secret.  I snagged a parking spot which was a bit iffy and prayed that the powers that be wouldn't decide to tow or ticket me.  I WAS out of the way and "sort of"  in the right area... It's just that those red lines were there on the road... 

Keeping my fingers crossed, I gathered my hear and headed to the cliff.  This wasn't a foggy day.  It was bright and clear and beautiful.  After tramping all over, I decided on another "edge of the cliff" piece which of course had a coreopsis.  I kept the size small because I had arrived late AND I didn't want to leave that car there tempting fate too long.

A beautiful sunny day! 

While I was there I didn't see any whales.  It's not to say there weren't any out there, it's just that when I paint, I am not focused there as a look-out.  I sort of missed my Swiss spotter from the previous week.  HOWEVER, I got the biggest thrill when a ... (okay I had to look this up) a "pod" or "scoop" of pelicans flew by me right below the ridge.   I was just settling back when one guy separated himself from his buddies in the ... pelican pod ... and came lazily drifting by about 10 feet away from the edge of the cliff eyeing me the whole time as I was sitting there slack-jawed looking back at him.  He was so beautiful!!  I really wished I could have scrambled up and gotten my camera out in time to catch him, but I guess he will just linger in my memory.
           My plein air sketch
One day I'm sure I will find him in one of my paintings.. (I hope).   Then I settled on getting down the scene.  When I showed it to David in class last week, he had many, many suggestions to improve that little painting.  I was fairly paralyzed which sometimes happens when I need to move to another level on my work.   
Seriously... it was painful... I just couldn't figure out what to do despite all of David's kind and well placed suggestions.  Finally, in the last hour of the class (it's a 4 hour class) I loaded up the paint and began to try to take it from insipid to joyous.

I changed the focus a bit so the diagonal didn't cut the painting exactly in half.  I loaded up on the color and laid on paint.  I played with color in the shadows and darks.  It may not be the best painting I've ever done, but I think it communicates the joy of the day none-the-less.


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CrimsonLeaves said...

The water is magical and the colors so spring-like!

Marian Fortunati said...

One day you'll have to head out to the coast, Sherry!

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