Plein air at Krystyna’s house

Four foot high water jar by beautiful Indian Hawthorn shrub

Four foot high water jar by beautiful Indian Hawthorn shrub.  Click on photo to view larger.

Rachel painting in beautiful garden

Lovely gardens in paint in. So relaxing!

Painting outdoors

Me painting outdoors

Plein air watercolor in progress by Rachel Murphree

Plein air watercolor in progress.  Click on image to view larger.

Last Friday I went out with the local Plein Air group, artists that get together to paint outside in any medium (for example pastels or oils, acrylics, etc.) and in most weathers! The invitation was to go to a member’s house and paint in her beautiful gardens. Krystyna was so gracious and welcoming.

It was a treat just to be there, and have so many wonderful sights to choose from. The beauty was almost overwhelming, especially because I almost talked myself OUT of going because I didn’t feel “ready” and I didn’t have an easel. Turns out what I had worked just fine.

I picked this lovely Indian Hawthorn shrub in full bloom with a gorgeous at least four foot high water jug in front. One reason it was so attractive to me was that the area I would be in was shaded. I figured I would want to be comfortable to be able to paint and try to capture the moment.  Being new to plein air, I didn’t think to go back and photograph the area as the sun started hitting areas.

I didn’t want to tackle painting the whole area, so I concentrated on the part of the jar that caught my attention and also used license on where to place the blooms. It is a phenomenal experience to be outside and have all the sights and smells and sounds and they are seared into my brain when I look at the painting!

It was especially nice to get feedback from Dorian who came to our group earlier this spring and did some lessons. She advised me to put in my shadows. So I’ve fiddled with this some more since I brought it home, but the shadows are still not finished.

My sun is coming from the top left and hitting the top of the top bunch, the leaf, the top of the water jar handle and a bit of the bottom bunch.  and it’s early morning, so the shadows will be long and cool, even if the sun only brushes the tips.  I’m going to out in my yard tomorrow and observe what I see in other shadows, and do my best.  After all, it’s only paper right??  It was a super learning experience and I’m going to out next Friday as well and see where the day takes me!

Thanks for stopping by.  I’d love to hear your comments.  oh yes, and thanks to another painter friend Jacques for allowing me to use the photos of me that he took.

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