Thursday, August 18, 2011

plein air at the Rose Garden

under painting with pigments in dispersion

my set up, between the rows with Mom looking on

this is as far as I took the painting in the field
With the morning cloud cover we had, it sure wasn't going to be a light-filled or light-directed subject for painting today at the Portland Rose Garden in Washington Park. I was not frustrated by the clouds, but simply happy to be in town and able to paint with Kitty Wallis and other painters from the Portland Plein Air and Studio Painters group.

How do you decide on your plein air subject when you go out to paint?

I am determined to paint what grabs my attention, and in this case it was the lamp post with the clematis and roses curving around its sturdy structure. I did two small pen sketches and then set up to paint big (in this case, 24 x 18). You can see my set up in the second photograph, along with the silvery haired woman, my mother, sitting in the chair next to my easel to keep me company. (Mom is here to wait with me for the arrival of my first grandchild and her first great-grandchild! Due September 16 -- it's a BOY!)

First I did a charcoal sketch and made some directional marks to indicate how I saw things fitting together. Next, I did a wet wash of pigments in dispersion. Finally, I applied the pastel. 

Mom commented that this was the first time she had seen me paint an entire painting from sketch to finish and she enjoyed watching it become a "really pretty painting." 

Not to contradict Mom, but I think that this one needs some tweaking in the studio. Maybe I'll get back to the Rose Garden to see the same scene with sunlight on it. That would have helped keep this painting from looking so flat. 

But, as I like to say, any day painting is a good day! How was yours?

1 comment:

Carrie H. said...

It was a great day in Washington Park. I'm so glad you and your mom got to come out. After you guys left it got really sunny and big tour buses arrived. People from everywhere really like Portland!