14 Jul 2013

Learning to paint en plein air

I remember when I was learning to drive, there was so much to think about and how was I ever going to coordinate it all at once! I had a bright yellow 2CV (called Donald) in those days, with none of the luxuries found in a modern car, but great fun once I got the hang of it. Learning to paint en plein air in oils is just like learning to drive in a 2CV. I’m trying to capture a fleeting moment, whilst training my eyes to see colour, mix it and apply it before the moment passes. Having swapped my 35 year old paints for new oils, I feel I have synchromesh gears and introducing some new brushes to my kit instantly gave me powered steering. However, I have not located auto pilot - my brain is very much in analogue as I think about every step of the process. I’ve not been very far either, parking behind rocks and gorse bushes where nobody can see me. There’s a lovely little harbour below the house, with colourful fishing boats, and a steady stream of tourists (relatively speaking, this isn’t Cornwall!)  – a few too many for one with L plates on her smock, so I shall paint that scene when I have the confidence to go cabriolet!

you can see my daily paintings here

1 comment:

Nic McLean said...

good for you!! I don't think I would ever have the confidence or the stamina to paint outdoors. I am too comfortable relying on reference photos from the comfort of the cottage instead!! I love your cartoon!