Ok, I'm a teacher, as well as an artist, and sometimes you just have great students that make an experience a pleasure. That was my workshop this weekend, Plein Air at Cheniere Lake. Fresh air, sunshine, few bugs, adventurous students, and OH! great scenery. What more could you ask?
One of the fun things, 20 minute sketches. One student's response, "I am frustrated but I don't give up" Another, "Look, it's like diamonds on the water." And another, "The light is just incredible." Both days, I stayed to paint after class ended. Energizing rather than tiring. Thanks to all of you for a great weekend. Below is a small sample.
Chilly Morning on Lake Loop, Oil on Canvas Panel, 5x7 inches
Painting with Linda last Saturday Morning. The forecast was for cool but sunny weather. When we got down to the lake at 8:30AM, the sun was not over the trees, temp in the high 50's, and the wind was blowing so we were cold. I was attracted by the greens and golds of the sunlit far bank and the curve of the sand.
Finished an early morning painting and decided to stay for another. It was almost noon when I started the above paining so the cypress tree with knobby knees was only catching light reflected from the lake. September and October are a good months for plein air in Louisiana, but it was hot by the time I finished. I tried to save the light as it was at the beginning of the painting, but finishing the knees took some time.
I usually always paint standing up but could not get the angle I wanted without sitting. So today I sat and worked at my tripod easel for 2nd painting. I missed the freedom of movement and I got tired a lot quicker.
At Randle T. Moore Center, 9/1/2015, Oil on Canvas Panel, 11X14 inches
When asked to do a demo for the Shreveport Art Club, I decided to visit the site a few days beforehand to get an idea of the light direction and possible subject for the painting. The day I scouted the site was bright and sunny with very strong golden light and cool shadows. As happens often with plein air, the day of the demo (above) was nothing like my scouting day. Instead it was overcast with very gray greens in the shadows. I think it turned out ok. Total painting time was a little over 1 hour.
Through the years working with various media, I have learned that you cannot economize on some things and expect quality results. Quality Paper is an absolute necessity when working with watercolor. I work on 140 lb. or 300 lb. paper. Brands I prefer are Arches and Lanaquarelle. I like 140 lb. paper because it is heavy enough to work without stretching and it dries faster than 300 lb. I will be discussing various papers and how they perform in my upcoming workshop, June 24,25,26
In this painting I am trying to evoke a mood of quiet peace and a world without time or end. The lack of a clear horizon and the ripples of the water suggest an endless aspect of time and space. The trees are strong verticals that contrast with the horizontals of the ripples, tree limbs and heron. The idea of timelessness contrasts with the flight of the bird which suggests an frozen moment in time.