I really admire artists who paint plein-air regularly. And, although I have made a few feeble attempts to get out painting in the past, I have never really made an effort to try it out. However, this week, I made a serious attempt to try it out - and I must say, rain and bugs notwithstanding, I liked it. It has its challenges - but it also has its rewards.
Susan and I went up to Haliburton last week, where Susan was taking a course in watercolour monoprinting. I went with her to fetch and carry, since she is still not 100% on her ankle. I had not registered in a course, so I determined to sit and paint in the great outdoors. I took along a small number of oils, and a set of pastels and, for five days straight, headed each day to the Gull River rapids, and except for the second day when the heavens opened to release a wall of water (while I was oil painting), the weather held up well.
I really enjoyed the pastels - and they were generally easier to deal with. Next time, though, I will take along more of my real darks!!!
I still need to work on my oils. It is not possible to do the kind of layering I normally do in my studio, and I need to get more experience in working quickly and getting the consistency of the paint right. However, I am encouraged, and I will do this again.
While I was painting, white water kayakers and canoers were whizzing by in the rapids. One spent almost an hour practicing rolling. I was inspired to do a pastel of them - which I call "White Water"
New painting in the lotus series, 36 x 48" oil and gold leaf on canvas - title (working) "Lotus Fantasy 1". I am pleased with the work, and finally decided on a working title for a new show - "The Lotus Position". I still have a long way to go, but feel that I am on the way.
Tony Marinus Vander Voet