Saturday, May 30, 2009
Iris Gardens -- Day Two
My goals were more realistic on day two. I started with an architectural piece, this time a white barn I could paint from a shady spot.
Then, back into the gardens to paint the yellow irises. While I painted them, a dear woman came over and asked me if I painted there regularly. For the last four years, I told her. It seems that she remembered me from a couple of years ago and I enjoyed spending some time talking with her. Actually, she recited two original poems and sang a song she had written herself a number of years ago. You never know what might happen when you paint en plein air.
Steve Schreiner, a member of the family who owns and runs the iris gardens, talked about how the lupine had reseeded in such a way that this year they seemed more dominant than the irises. My last painting was an attempt to capture the riot of colors and textures of ornamental poppies, lupine, and iris.
I drank more water on day two and didn't develop a headache. But two days of hard painting wore me out. I think that if I want to do four paintings per day, I will consider painting smaller (maybe 12 x 16). I will look at some books I have of architecture in plein air paintings and study that more carefully. I feel like those pieces (with the barns) are not as strong as I would like.
Plein air painting is a lot of work. Besides the painting, there's a lot of work planning and packing, hauling art supplies to the site, challenges of heat, sun, bugs, people, and other distractions. And the light is changing all the time! Yes, it is a lot of work. But, the benefits are worth the effort.
I'm in it for the long haul.