My plein air setup and a work in progress.
Working outdoors can be challenging .
Here are two incidents that illustrate what I mean. One situation made me smile, while the other made me shudder.
In retrospect I realize that both experiences enriched my life, even if only because I can share the stories with you.
Years ago, I was working outdoors at Burke Lake, which is a lovely park not far from my home. I was enjoying the day, when a dog and its owner approached me. The dog was a big dog— a cute mutt. I love dogs, and want to interact with them, but always ask the owner if their dog is friendly before I do so. This day was no different. The conversation went like this: Me, "Is your dog friendly?" Dog owner, "Oh yes! No problem." While stabilizing my easel with one hand, I reached out to pet the dog, who was mighty excited for the attention.
The dog and I shared a little mutual love, then dog and owner began to leave. As they both moved away from me, the owner shouted to her pup, "No biting!" After hearing this, I asked, "Does your dog BITE?" She responded, "Oh yes, and usually he goes right for the face." Good heavens. You just can't make these things up!
Unfinished painting where my pastels were attacked by a flying acorn
I bet that you know that I shuddered when the dog and his owner left.
Now, this experience made me smile. Recently, during a break from the rain, heat and humidity, I hurried outdoors to get some painting done. Running late, due to going to a site that yielded nothing for me, I went to a favorite spot.
As I was setting up, a fisherman decided that he would try his luck right next to me. I didn't realize how loud casting a line could be until he tried catching the attention of fish repeatedly. Each time he cast his line, I jumped. Fortunately, the fish were not interested, and he moved away. Finally, there was blessed peace and I could concentrate, which I did.
While taking a break and snapping a progress pic, I was startled by a loud crack. There was no evidence of what caused the noise, but one of my pastels had smacked to the pavement, and broken into pieces. I wondered if I had put the pastel stick down in a precarious position. When I found no solution to the mystery, I just continued my work.
While packing up to leave, I saw the culprit. An acorn had fallen from an overhead tree right onto my easel shelf, causing the pastel stick to "jump" onto the ground. Nature... it makes me smile...even when it destroys my supplies.
Do you paint outdoors? If not, why not? If you do, what's one of your interesting experiences?
For those of you who don't paint, share something interesting that happened while you were enjoying nature.
Please share in the comments below. I love interacting with you and hearing your stories.
Happy to have you here. This is where you will see work in progress, tips about making art, seeing art, and enjoying art. You will also see ways to live a more joyous life.
Want to learn more about my upcoming workshop in Italy, October 5-12, 2019? Click here.