Wednesday, January 6, 2016

"early riser"

O.K., confession time.  Today's painting isn't actually plein air. As in "outside in the fresh air".  It is from life though.  There was just a window pane between me and my subject :)

I'm up every morning before daylight.  Way before daylight it seems.  I was looking out the window savoring my first sips of coffee and admiring the blue of the sky and the sliver of the moon when I decided to paint it.  The only problem was it was 22 degrees and I was still in my pajamas.  I considered for a moment changing into something warmer and actually going outside to paint.  But only for a moment.  When I get up, two dogs get up also and they aren't concerned about noise at all. And wherever I go, they goest.  So in the interest of letting my household sleep, the neighborhood sleep and not freezing to death.... I set my easel up in front of the window to paint.

A warm and toasty way to paint but not without problems.  With the lights on inside my house, I couldn't see outside because of the reflections in my window.  With the lights off inside my house, I couldn't see to paint.  At this point I considered once more putting on my coat and boots and going outside.  I knew I had about 30 minutes before the sky would start to change.  So I needed to do something quickly.

I turned out all of my lights and used the flashlight app on my phone to light my palette and got to work.   There was no dimension in the trees, just dark forms against the night sky but the lights from the house across the street gave off just enough illumination to add some interesting shapes.  I also didn't have my contacts in so everything had a nice soft blur need to squint!

If there is one thing that I have learned doing all of these painting challenges, it's that there is a painting everywhere.  You just have to look for it.  A nice metaphor for life.

"early riser"
5" x 7" oil on panel


I will be teaching a plein air workshop in Edisto Island, SC in March.  If one of your New Year's resolutions is to learn to paint plein air or just paint better, come join me!  We will paint, learn, laugh and have fun.  Click Here for more information! Edisto Island Plein Air Workshop

1 comment:

Chris Lally said...

Beautiful nocturne - love the story!!