Monday, July 18, 2011

The Great Outdoors

Plein air painting is not something I've ever tried.  Well outside of when a few art professors would have us pack up and go outside or when I was in life drawing sketching people at coffee houses and around campus.  Back then when our professors had us head out it was most often with complaint.  In our defense going outside with your art boxes and drawing boards was a bit cumbersome at best.  Maybe we were just wimpy and spoiled art students back then.

I have to say that I really enjoyed painting outside with my sketch box easel.  Yes, there were horse flies, various kinds of bees, bugs I'd never seen before and mosquitoes - it was fantastic and liberating.  I'll have to do a lot more of it.

Now, I have a feeling the paintings that resulted from this camping trip and future trips will most likely not end up within a gallery show.  I figure that they're completely out of my normal subject matter. Not to mention my usual color scheme. With that said my paintings are my paintings.

I gifted the piece first shown Morning Moon depicting the moon over a meadow to our friends who took us.  They had a wonderful tent trailer with just enough amenities to make camping life easier without taking away the roughing it aspect a way a mobile home or a fifth wheel may have.  It offered a good place to escape the rain storms that passed through two of the three nights we spend at Hawley Lake.  It also had a propane stove that hooked to the outside and a built in water tank for a simple pump sink.  Of course it was finding a tree or using the out houses and going without a shower for a few days.

I went camping a lot as a kid and I know my mom and my stepfather were definitely purists when it came to camping.  I know when we'd head up they'd grip about the people with tent trailers and RV's. Often stating that "they weren't camping". With that said they had the giant tent, tarps, portable propane stove, portable toilet, portable shower and a truck with a camper shell to fall back on with serious rain.  In other words they had all the amenities, without towing them behind them.  Frankly, I liked my little loft tent bedroom off the wet ground after several hours of rain. I still swatted mosquitoes, flies, and various crawling and flying creatures, dodging humming birds and bees. Felt like camping to me.