Thursday, January 24, 2008

Foggy day plein air, alla prima


Foggy day at Turtle Beach, 9x12, oil on canvas

Thursday my plein air group meets and this morning I awoke to drizzle, fog and very chilly temperatures. (By Florida standards at least!) In addition, an irrigation pipe in my lawn had broken during the night so I had to call a plumber at 7 in the morning to come out and fix it.

By the time he left I was an hour late and the drizzling and fog made me feel like jumping back into bed and pulling the covers up to my chin. Instead, I forced myself to pack up my junk and go out and I'm glad I did.

I am not a painter who likes to paint when the sun isn't shining. First of all , it's hard. Everything appears flat without shadows and highlights and the values all seem to blend together. However, Richard Schmid has said that a cloudy overcast day is his favorite kind of day to paint plein air, because you don't have to worry about constantly changing light. He is right, and for once I felt relaxed, because I knew I could paint the scene without a drastic light change.

Today, I just found myself relaxing under the palm trees and listening to an animated conversation going on all around me among cranes, an owl, doves and many other loud-mouthed birds. It was just what I needed. It was also nice to do a landscape after struggling with paintings of dancers all week. I needed the break. I like the way this one came out. I don't usually use many earth colors in my landscapes, but pitting a cool burnt sienna against a warm transparent oxide red created a subtle soft effect and helped create the feeling of a foggy atmosphere in this painting. Here is the scene that I painted. The seagrass just kept stretching out to the beach and the horizon line was non-existent today. I'll definitely want to try this again.

No comments: