Painting the feeling of rocks and water over near George Bush’s house on Walker Point, Kennebunkport, ME.. Photo: Mary Byrom.
When I’m painting rocks I pay attention to the nature of the rock. I don’t paint rocks the same way I paint clouds, water or trees. As a matter of fact I paint every different subject according to the nature and feeling of that subject. I pay attention to my subject and all the details that surround it. I observe a lot and think about what I am seeing and feeling. Also I sketch a lot and because I draw so much I have developed my observational skills. I can actually see more when I take the time to look long and hard at something. I call it seeing the “soul” of something. It’s a feeling and it describes the essence of a place or of a time.
The fog is pouring in and I’m chilly and after painting this quick study. I’m ready to pack up and head home for some hot food. Photo: Mary Byrom
When I dashed out the other day to paint along the coast in Kennebunkport it was warm inland at my house. One of the unique aspects of the coast is the variety of temperature changes from location to location that are affected by the tides. Plus there is this peculiar thing about the ocean and how it changes the clouds. I may leave my house with big white fluffy clouds or dark thunderheads over head to arrive at the waters edge to clear blue skies. That was the situation on Thursday. Along Parsons Way the waves were splashing, the ocean was a dark crisp blue, the sky was clear and the the sun was warm. The first thing I did when I arrived was sit on the rocks and have lunch while I looked around.
When I arrived on location the sun was baking the rocks. It was toasty warm. I needed my umbrella to keep me and my palette cool and shaded. Photo: Mary Byrom
Way out in the distance over the water was a big pale violet gray cloud. I spotted it and knew exactly what it was. It was a fog bank that was being created by the cold water mingling with the warm air. And thought it looked like it was half tide to me I was wrong. I started working on a painting I had started earlier in the winter when I was painting storm surf and ran out of time at the end of the day. I thought it might be a good idea to finish it over on the water’s edge to see how it affected me and the painting. I’m always experimenting and this is one of my latest in a series of paintings I’m doing from memory. While I was looking at waves and painting I noticed the violet cloud bank was moving closer.
My first study working from a sketch and memory while standing right in front of the ocean. Photo: Mary Byrom
The tide was coming in. And the the temperature was dropping. I stopped, looked up and saw shreds of fog racing over my head. I turned around, and to the west the sky was clear and the sun was warm. Then I spotted this great rock right in front of me with surf washing around it. I had to paint it ! The wind was now blowing off the water. It was freezing. My breath was clouding my glasses. The fresh water pond behind me was steaming in the sunlight as the cold air blew across it . So of course what does any good painter do ? You paint fast, really fast before this beautiful thing vanishes before your eyes. Do I need to tell you how great it felt to paint this ? It was another incredible day painting in Maine. This place is awesome !
IF YOU’D LIKE TO COME OUT AND PAINT IN SOME INCREDIBLE PLACES SIGN UP FOR ONE OF MY PLEIN AIR CLASSES. SUMMER IS HERE AND ITS GOING TO BE SHORTER THAN YOU THINK !
SUMMER PLEIN AIR CLASSES
THE SUMMER PLEIN AIR CLASSES HAVE STARTED.
CLASS SIZE IS LIMITED.
2016 summer classes “en plein air” are in a groove. Jump in and join us for a session. We are painting at beautiful locations, a different one each week. I am 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 students are improving.
SUMMER PLEIN AIR SESSION DATES
SESSION 2 JUNE 14- JULY 19
SESSION 3 JULY 26 – AUGUST 30
SESSION 4 SEPT 4 – OCTOBER 11
AUTUMN PLEIN AIR
SESSION 5 OCT 18 – NOV 22
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.
JUNE 16TH 4-7 pm
Location : GOVERNMENT STREET, DOWNTOWN KITTERY, MAINE
Hosted by : THE KITTERY ART ASSOCIATION
MAINE MINI SUMMER WORKSHOPS
JUNE 18 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!