Here is the next batch of paintings from this weekend. I went to the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens on Saturday. Above is the American Indian "Medicine Wheel". Visitors are allowed to place a rock somewhere in the wheel as a prayer. My wife always liked going there, since she had some Indian heritage in the family tree. The little straw hut had been blown over since the last time I was there. But it made for an interesting structure.
Below you can see how dramatically the light shifted during the course of the morning. This will be a recurring challenge anytime one tries plein air painting. One solution is to revisit a spot at the same time over several days. I chose not to do that...but I lost that strong shadow that grabbed me early in the day...hard to fake that.
Next, I wandered off down a trail that goes about a mile out into the woods of the Arboretum. Beautiful walk...not so fun, if you are hauling several pounds of painting gear. I stopped at a little bridge, where these trees and their roots caught my eye.
However, you can see the total change in the mood from the sun moving positions during the mid-day. I was not as happy with this painting, but once I got it home, I liked it a little better. I got tired, and really didn't get to the detailing on the roots like I had wanted to do.
This last one was done today at the Deanna Rose Farmstead. I started at 9:30 this morning, and didn't get finished until about 1:30. However I tried something a little unconventional, which made it take much longer. A mistake.
Because I love drawing in my sketchbooks, I thought I'd try a painting more like those images. I used my felt-tip marker pen and rendered the whole scene in linework. My intention was to do thin glazes of color oil washes. But the more I got into it, the less I liked it. A crowd was gathering around, and I started feeling the pressure.
So I reverted back to my traditional oil painting technique. I'm not unhappy with the final version...it's just too bad that I lost the sketch that I spent a couple of hours on. At least I have the digital version from my camera...sigh.
(A final word to the wise...DO NOT set up near the dairy barn, if you don't want to hear a string of cow bells being constantly rung, dozens of parents reading a sign out loud to their kids about cow trivia, and EVERYBODY trying to communicate with the animals by MOOING all day long!!!! I'm just sayin'...)