Parry Mansion 14x18, Best of show, Bucks County Plein Air
I'm posting a few more paintings from the events of the last couple of weeks before I get into the meat of some things that have been bugging me about this whole plein air thing. The events are wonderful, a lot of pros and some cons. The next post will be the cons. The pros are; getting to paint with my friends from around the country (something I probably wouldn't get to do otherwise, the chance to paint with top painters and to get inspiration and learn stuff, pick up galleries and workshops, meet wonderful hosts families, a chance to sit in an airport bar and strike up a conversation with a total stranger and the opportunity to win fabulous prizes, sell art and get exposure. Many positive things.
Another pro is the opportunity to paint stuff that I would never get to paint otherwise, go to new places, and go to new museums. The image above was inspired by a visit to the Brandywine museum near Philadelphia. It's the home of a few Pennsylvania painters, and the Pyle/Wyeth lineage. Seeing Howard Pyle and NC Wyeth paintings up close and personal is a humbling and inspiring event. I'll be writing more about that little life changer here shortly. It's pretty impressive to see what can be done with black, white and an accent color like red or yellow. My very first painting for the Bucks County event was intended to explore what could be done with a very limited palette. I didn't have black so I mixed a dark and grays out of the primaries (and white) and attempted to keep the auxiliary colors simple. At least it started out that way. I did add in a few others for the finish but was ultimately pleased with the outcome.
Since we were limited to the town of New Hope, the subject matter available was buildings and streets and since I don't normally tackle these things on my own, I figured WTF? The trick with these is to spend more time drawing and less time painting. The better the drawing, the less the need for detail. A nice lady came up and asked if it was for sale, one of my favorite questions, mostly because the answer is, "What are you, dense? Of course it's for sale, do I look like a trust fund baby to you?". She asked how much and I told her what the price would be once it gets into a frame and hangs in the gallery. She said, as expected, "Oh.", but then followed with, "Well, I was going to make you an offer...". My smart ass self wanted to say something snarky like, "What... a foot massage?". but the nice guy in me always overrides and I said, "Go to the gallery and make them the offer, I'm sure they could use the fifty bucks." I didn't really say that.
greener pastures, 20x24
The sheep were painted in Easton. Fun to paint sheep. As long as they stay in the vicinity they are pretty easy to draw; rolled up socks with a pointy thing on one end and 4 bent sticks underneath. They have a tendency to move away from strange men, might be one of those hardwired things from their ancestors having spent so much time with lonely sheep herders. The foreground sheep I had to use my iphone pics as ref, no way to make that stuff up.
Next post, kvetching.