Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Before the Rain

Getting out of the studio and painting is one of my favorite things to do. Monday was a frustrating, and quite unproductive day creatively. Therefore, when the sun popped out Tuesday I grabbed the plein air backpack and hit the road in search a place to paint before the rain started in again.

The view I decided to paint - © Michael Warth
The clouds to the South looked pretty dark, but the view North was looking pretty good as you can see in the photo above. I figured I would have a few hours to get the painting blocked in, with the colors and shapes done enough to finish the painting in the studio. I took several photos to help me later.

I always work with a toned canvas, and typically make a quick drawing in pencil before starting the painting process. The 8" x 10" wood panel toned using Raw Umber and White was toned a week ago so it would be dry before packing it in my bag.

The painting was progressing quite well, as passers-by slowed to see what I was doing. Then again, since I took my son, and I was working out of the back of my Jeep, I bet it was funny seeing me out there painting while my son had the stereo jacked listening to his hip hop music. The thumping, the lyrics, and all was at times silly...but we were having fun. To be honest I even cranked the music listening to heavy metal as well. Yeah, I'm not a happy little trees kind of guy...there is something relaxing about listening to Five Finger Death Punch while making a tranquil oil painting.

The storm was coming, and I was pushing my luck. I rushed along getting the colors blocked in as fast as I could to beat the rain. I knew having the basics down, along with some quality photos, I would be able to finish the painting in the studio.

About two hours into painting, and quite comfortable by the way, it started to sprinkle and I ignored it at first. Within minutes, it was raining and I knew it wasn't going to blow over. I had a lot to put away, and even though my plein air set-up is quite easy to pack and transport, I wanted to get things cleaned up so I wouldn't make a mess or forget something on the road.

By the time I got things packed and I was back in the driver's seat, it was like a monsoon outside. Thankfully I packed up when I did. All was not lost though. I got enough done before the rain and I chose this spot because I wanted to make a day of it by heading further north after painting to hit an art store and great restaurant later in the evening.

Matt (my son) and I headed out to get to the art store about 40 miles north of my painting spot. I picked up a 24" x 36" belgian linen canvas, and we made it to the Irish themed pub, The Claddagh in the Brewery District for a Jamison Burger and Guinness. It was a great day, productive, and fun. Everyday should be like this.

In future posts I'll share more about my plein air setup, and how I like to pack my gear for a quick escape from the studio.

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