Saturday, July 12, 2008

Plein Air Workshop Day 2

Today we headed out to Bunker Hill Forest Preserve (part of Caldwell Woods). There was a LOT of green (grass, trees, shrubs, etc). In the AM we hung around a picnic shelter with our easels and worked on some abstract designs. Trying to establish "shapes" rather than something real. I painted in oils for this exercise as it was, pretty much, moving paint around as my friend Nancy Albrecht would say. Here is some of my video diary.

In the afternoon we put our abstract shape painting abilities into practice and did some real plein air painting. For this I brought out my good buddy - watercolors. How I've missed them. I was feeling lost and completely incompetent when I began the afternoon. I almost said "screw it!" - but how can I expect to grow if I give up. So I swallowed whatever fear was trying to get hold of me and dove in! It took only a few minutes for me to get into a groove and relax. My painting was 'eh" but the point was to think of everything as abstract shapes - and not a tree or a river, etc. This is harder than you think - plants and trees - all have leaves and a million little pieces to distract you. Resisting the urge to paint them all bit by bit is a challenge to the plein air painter. So this abstraction exercise was a good one for me. Everyone should try painting - at least once in their lives. It's a butt kicker. You'll learn a lot about yourself.

The day was beautiful - skies looked ominous at times but then the sun would come out and make you worried about sunscreen. Here's my video report for the AM.

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