Monday, March 24, 2014

Aerodynamic Painting

They say, "March comes in like a lion, but goes out like a lamb," yet so far this month, it's been mostly like a lion. In fact, there's snow in the forecast this week! Nonetheless, this past weekend brought a brief warm up, so I ventured up to Pennsylvania's Black Moshannon State Park to do some plein air painting. As I get started in the new medium of oil painting, I'm seeking out some familiar subjects to help smooth my learning curve.

My field easel, suspended underneath the tripod base.
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

In later posts, I'll share some photos of my plein air kit. I use a field easel from Artwork Essentials, and most of my oil painting set up fits into a standard L.L. Bean backpack. Unfortunately, I left one key item out of my kit this past weekend: The cleat that secures my easel to its tripod base. Unable to mount the easel on the tripod, I was forced to improvise by suspending it underneath the tripod and then sitting down to work. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because the March winds were roaring heavily this past weekend, and my usual approach of standing at my easel to work would not have been very successful against the strong gusts. Could this be called aerodynamic painting? Hmm.

Shown above is an 8" x 12" field study in progress. There was still a thin layer of ice on the bog and there was even some snow left in the woods (although that didn't stop a tick from climbing onto the head of one of our dogs, argh). It felt good to get out, and once March finally tip toes out like a lamb, I'm looking forward to more outings during the milder days of April.