Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Page from my Plein Air Sketchbook


Today’s plein air session is a good example of making the most of a sketchbook page.  The day was overcast and threatening rain at 9am when I arrived on location just south of the courthouse in Waxahachie, TX.  Anticipating a downpour before I could complete a painting on the “good paper”, I decided instead to work in my sketchbook….under the back door hatch of my Expedition.  I paint out of the back of my SUV often using it for protection from sun – or in this case - from rain that was already beginning to fall. It takes some pretty ugly weather to cause me to pack up and call it a day….especially when the day has only begun!

My favorite sketchbook size is 11 x 14 -  it gives me several options; I can use the entire page for one composition, or divide it up into 2, 3 or even 4 “minis”.  In about an hour and a half, I completed the 4” x 9” vertical on the left “Crossing on S. College” and the upper right  3” x 7” horizontal “Viaduct – Crossing on S. Rogers”.  - by this time, the rain was falling pretty hard and it was almost time for lunch, so I packed up & met 2 other artists (painting from their SUV’s as well) for lunch.  Afterward, we all went to Getzendaner Park, for the annual Chautauqua Assembly and set up our easels under the exhibition tent and spent the next couple of hours painting a “portrait” of the Chautauqua auditorium. The lower right 4” x 6” titled “Chautauqua” completed my day’s work in the sketchbook. 

Did you notice that even though I never saw a ray of sunshine today, I used my artist’s license and created a “bright & sunny” day with blue skies & fluffy clouds. 

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