Tuesday, January 19, 2016

"western light" ...Day 19

I got this one painted in the evening yesterday.  It was a balmy 36 degrees.  Actually, the wind had died down and I was sitting in what remained of the sunlight so it was doable.  I was also home and painting in my backyard so I could go inside every once and a while to warm up.   And if you look closely in the picture you can see there was also a game of fetch going on. Multi-tasking at it's best.

The only remaining color in January are the cedars and evergreens at the back of my yard.  They are a tangle of greens and aren't really very interesting until the western light shines it's golden light through the open spaces between them.  The greens are always a challenge to capture.  I tried to capture the subtleties between them and not exaggerate them.  No easy job.

As you can see from the in progress picture, I am painting over a used panel.  It is actually my favorite way to start.  Nothing to lose :)  In the weekly class that I teach, I had my students use some of my old plein air panels to paint their studies on last week.  I have plenty of sanded down ones to choose from.  Even though I paint a lot outdoors, they aren't all keepers. Some of them get wiped down immediately and others make it back to the studio and I wonder what I was thinking.  I'm not sure it is ever possible to get it right every time.  I think it is more about the lessons you learn from painting outdoors and less about the finished painting.  And even the wipers have value.  They help me work out different solutions to painting issues.  Sometimes my experiments work and sometimes they fall flat but I always learn from them and enjoy just being outdoors, in the moment.

"western light"
5" x 7" oil on panel
©2016dottietleatherwood

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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

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