Painting on Parsons Way: I live close to everything I could possibly want to paint. I can paint an incredible variety of subject matter within minutes from my house. This afternoon I decided to head over to paint the western light on the harbor at Cape Porpoise. I never reached Cape Porpoise as the view from Parsons Way in Kennebunkport was so awesome I stopped right there to paint the glare on the water. Photo: Marcus Gale.
After hours of catching up on office work over the weekend, I glanced out of the window at the gorgeous, sunny afternoon. It looked like a perfect painting day to me! In two seconds I decided to get out of the office and head off to some where beautiful to paint. My personal way of relaxing, clearing my mind and recharging my battery is to connect with nature. I connect with nature by painting it. I know some people find painting outdoors to be a lot of work and energy lugging gear around or they are intimidated by the vastness of the ever changing landscape. I find painting outdoors to be the perfect way to slow down and pay attention. I think we rush around too much in our daily lives. Deadlines, phone calls, emails, texting, internet and social media all contribute to this feeling of rushing around.
Here is the first sketch I did of the glare on the water with cottages and trees back lit. A 20 min field sketch with oils. Photo: Mary Byrom
I enjoy paying attention and getting in tune with the seasons, the changing light, the always fluctuating weather. I am tired of all the electronic gadgets, screens, tools and machines in my life. I max out on the different electronic hums filling the room. The machines racing up and down the roads. Sometimes I get bored with of all the buildings and boxes we live in and the manufactured landscapes of the cities and towns where we travel. I’m trying to remember the last time I slept under the stars. It was too long ago.
As the sun was dropping the glare moved and the colors changed. It was gorgeous. Photo: Marcus Gale
So it makes sense that I run out to paint all the time (or as much as I am able.) I look back at the last ten years I spent painting outdoors. Some weeks it was every single day. I only know that because I was focusing during that time on a regular routine where I painted outdoors every day. I’ve painted for a few 30 day runs and there was one 100 day schedule a few years back. I wrote the location and date on the back of each painting I brought home. It was really fun and rewarding. Everyday I’d drive away with a car full of supplies and when I came home I’d have a painting or two or three in my wet paint carriers. Wow . What magic ! Then I’d just file all the paintings in drawers to use them for future painting notes.
I’ve always had some objective for each painting schedule. It wasn’t just to paint everyday (some people need that objective , I was already painting everyday) it was to learn and excel at a specific thing or to focus and go deeper in to a specific subject . They were always for some kind of growth and to break through some kind of plateau. I guess its my way of “batch learning” or “bunch growth”. And its a total blast to see how I do and what turns up with these quick ones!
DEMOS & A PLEIN AIR WORKSHOP AT YOUR LOCATION: I am visiting art groups and associations giving demos and plein air workshops. If you or your group would like a workshop please don’t hesitate to ask for details and available dates for summer and fall.
THE PLEIN AIR EXPERIENCE ~ If you like to spend time in nature and are interested in painting outdoors but are not sure you will like it a good way to check it out is to attend a plein air demo. Some people like to paint or draw but feel shy about doing it in a public place. Others don’t have the equipment and want to see what it is like before investing in a lot of stuff they might not end up using. The best way to find out is to watch someone and see how it is done. Come to one of my plein air demos and see for yourself.
PLEIN AIR DEMO –
MAY 28TH 4-6 pm
2016 SEASON OPENING FOR BETH ELLIS GALLERY
Location: BETH ELLIS GALLERY
294 SHORE ROAD
PLEIN AIR DEMO & INSTRUCTION
JUNE 16TH 4-7 pm
Location : GOVERNMENT STREET, DOWNTOWN KITTERY, MAINE
Hosted by : THE KITTERY ART ASSOCIATION
CLASS SIZE IS LIMITED.
2016 summer classes “en plein air” begin on May 3rd. I will be teaching a new easy plein air method in a 6 week block of classes. This easy method really helps beginners get comfortable with plein air painting and it helps experienced painters improve skills dramatically. It’s a tried and true method and its great to see how fast it works.SIGN UP HERE FOR 6 WEEK SESSION.
This is my second study. I placed two 6×8 panels together to get my wide panoramic view. Another 20 min field sketch with oils.Photo: Marcus Gale
MAINE SUMMER WORKSHOPS
JUNE 18 2016 10-5
JULY 9 10-5
AUGUST 6 10-5
SEPTEMBER 10 10-5
OCTOBER 8 10-5
All workshops are in southern Maine in the coastal towns of Kittery, York, Cape Neddick, Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunkport and Cape Porpoise. Painting locations include quintessential Maine places including beaches, rocky coastlines, harbors, marshes, farms, historical homes and classic small villages.
These are one day plein air workshops. All workshops begin at 10am with a one hour break for lunch. The day will start with a demo and a short talk on the specific aspects/advantages/challenges of the location. Guidance will be given on choices of subject matter tailored to each student’s individual painting experience. Students can expect to complete one or more paintings.
Register for a workshop here. Price: $100.
I look forward to seeing you!