Get Out! My first plein air painting

IMG_2188Connie Hansen Garden 9×12″ oil on panel

Today was the day. I have been thinking about going outdoors to paint — but always had something in the way. I tried the backyard a few days ago, but it sent the neighbor’s large dog into a huge anxiety fit, so I trekked back inside. Yesterday I went shopping and picked up an outdoor easel. Practiced inside with a couple of paintings, then today was the day.

I headed to the nearby public garden and set up beside a darling little pond. It was difficult! There was so much to look at, all around, up and down. What to focus on? I had forgotten my little viewfinder (thank you, Katia) so tried to create a composition from the absolutely HUGE world around me. I painted about 90 minutes, until it looked seriously like a downpour was about to happen. I learned a ton. I had figured I was painting water — but the painting is really about the rocks. The rocks were fascinating and all sorts of shades. Anyway, it worked out. I am eager to try it again. Found some peonies there that are still in bloom, so tomorrow they will be mine.

Anyone who has thought about getting outdoors to paint — give it a try. It is so very different from the studio.

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