5/9/07

Trees by the Stream, oil sketch, 6 x 8 in.

This sketch was painted plein air. The light was beautiful, the air clear. For exactly 10 seconds. Once the easel was set up and paints were placed on the palette, a horde of love bugs descended and stayed..and stayed. As 20 dropped into the paint and turp, a new barrage emerged to take their place, hovering and landing in gobs of wet paint. It was hard to separate the paint from the insects. Which reminded me why I love plein air, on location painting so much. Yes, it can be quite inconvenient; glad that lovebugs don't bite. But there's something so wondrous about being out in the midst of it all. Yes, it did get warm, but the light remained steady. A gift! As I flicked my brushes to try to ward the kamakazi from their impending fate, I found myself splashed with cad yellow and alizarin. Dr. Suess came to mind during most of the sketch, "Lovebugs, lovebugs everywhere, in my hair, on the chair, in my clothes, up my nose.....
I love painting on location. Never feel more alive, or exhausted.
At least there were no tarantulas.

6 comments:

Jens Ole Olsen said...

Great sketch - it all works so well

Joan DaGradi said...

Thanks, Jens. We've had a few beautiful days... unnaturally cool for this time of May. Hoping to get in a few more landscape sketches before it's like an oven here. The best time is right before the sun sets, around 7 PM. Saw a great scene last night; hope to paint it soon.

H Malott said...

This is beautiful Joan. Ah yes, I just picked out a bunch of gnats stuck to a recent painting:)

Joan DaGradi said...

Thanks, Heidi.
We should go out painting together sometime!
It would be fun.

Robin Neudorfer said...

fun reading your post. You kept such good spirit about it. Plein air can be quite challenging but yes it does make one feel alive.

Joan DaGradi said...

Thanks for writing, Robin! Your work is beautiful and i was happy to find you.