Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 1- Plein Air Paint Out

En Plein air is the french expression that means "in the open air" and is used to discribe painting outdoors. Today was the first of 9 days in which the Plein air artists of Riverside, or PAAR, will paint at different locations around our city. I am the newest member of the group and I am hoping to learn more about painting plein air and not just sketching plein air. Last week the weather was perfect, this week rain storms are expected. The weather paused today long enough for the opening ceremony and for us to paint. Today we are painting the Mission Inn, tomorrow we will paint the area around the Inn. I managed to get this one painted before I got too cold and the rain started.  Tomorrow may prove to be more challenging.  It is nerve racking and exciting all at the same time. Although very chilly, people had come out for the Farmers Market so there was a lot of interest in what we were doing. More tomorrow, I am looking for some fingerless gloves!
    Since I haven't done a lot of plein air painting I am a bit nervous on how much painting I will actually be able to do on site. I can't even decide if I want to paint in pastel or watercolor. There are some wonderful artists in our local plein air group so the pressure is on to perform, but all self imposed. Plein air painting also required me to figure out what I will wear in an attempt to stay warm enough to paint. I must admit the weather was constantly changing the lighting and the temperature, much different than studio painting. But there is something exhilarating about standing out in weather and painting. You become part of the street activity as well as an observer and recorder. It is wonderful to see artists in the streets painting, it reminded me of Paris and all the wonderful artists that filled the streets, selling and painting. We don't see that very often here in the states, sadly. But today I was comforting to see others out painting, filling the sidewalks and courtyards with easels and umbrellas. Randy was kind enough to cover me with the umbrella when the rains started and helped me shuffle supplies and equipment to and from the car. I am not accustomed to hauling art supplies around town so I look like an amateur. Jennifer stayed with me too, only leaving to shop the farmers market, my own little support team.

5 comments:

Pat said...

Well done for braving the weather and producing a lovely piece of work!

Candy said...

This sounds like fun. Great job! I'm looking forward to seeing what you do today.

Marilyn Fromherz said...

Way to go girl - a wonderful piece.I am full of awe of your amazing talents. I can't imagine painting in the rain. Looking forward to seeing more of your post from this 9 days.

Desiree said...

Thanks all of you for you encouragment, I must admit I am so far out of my comfort zone here but I do like a challenge. I appreciate all of your support!!!

K-Sue said...

This is so cool! Your take on the Inn turned out very nice.

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