Saturday, October 20, 2012

Plein Air Painters Escapades

One of my favorite classes to teach is Plein Air (painting on location out in nature). One of the most accommodating and welcoming spots I've found in the Rogue Valley, which offers up languid landscapes, blossoming gardens, lush vineyards and an elegant historic mansion, is Eden Vale Winery! Yes, I'm recommending visiting !!!

 Each of the three day workshop, we gather early to catch the morning shadows. We do a review of materials, design and planning and after a brief demo from me . . . everyone selects their own favorite subject matter to work up. To start out I do a small but fun lil' scene of the vineyards with background wine processing building. I aim at keeping it simple and capturing the feeling of the day. I'm pretty happy with this image.

In between assisting everyone with their images, I find a snippet of time to start the quick image of the yellow roses and the Adirondack Chairs dotting the grassy areas. Now you know how I love detail and finishing things off - - but with others suggestions to just "leave it alone, it's fresh", I've done just that (no, I didn't have to tie my hands back!).

The second day of the workshop we follow a similar agenda and I have my participants select what subject they would like me to do for the quick demo painting. The select: "architecture". Oh MY!! I have to admit that although architecture can be lovely, I tend to get all anal working on the perspective and square subject matter. But . . . I follow through with my commitment. I wander the grounds seeking a clean and uncomplicated object, letting my students hear exactly what I'm seeking. And, just as usual, once I get started on man-made subject matter, I find complications. This overhanging porch with graceful grapevines dangling appears easy, right? Well, once I started drawing the supporting horizontal beams, I went nuts attempting to define what was sky or beams. I eventually decided to go "loose" and just randomly drop in vines and sky. It pretty much worked ... but re-affirmed my avoidance of linear items. I will never make an architect!!!

Just to share some of the lovely journal work produced during the workshop, here's a lushly illustrated passion vine as well as a delicately depicted rustic pot with dancin' grasses!
And in case you wonder what the totality of my days working onsite for the Eden Vale Winery Workshop, here's the full two page spread (one more to come on the next page from day three). Love to hear your input or experiences with painting on location!!!

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