Thursday, March 26, 2009

Painting in the Park

I don't typically paint en plein aire, or outside. I actually think the last time I painted a landscape outside was in college. But, this spring weather we have been having made me dread being cooped up in the studio all day, so on Tuesday, I packed up my paints, my desk easel, and a lunch, and ventured out to Falls Park to this spot:

And set to work. There are several sets of stone steps in this remote corner of the park that lead up to the Governor's school for the arts. I only discovered this spot recently, and have wanted to paint it ever since.

"Leading to Where"
16"x 20"
Oil on Canvas

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Painting outside is so totally different from painting in the studio. In the studio, I have pretty much total control over my environment, and can work relatively undisturbed. Outside is a different story. You have to deal with changes in weather and light, wind, picking leaves out of the paint, and bugs landing on the canvas, not to mention the people wandering by to see what you are doing. Throughout the day, I was beset by many questions and curious looks: the little boy who politely asked if he could "help" me, the group of high school students on their lunch break who suddenly surrounded me, the two older ladies who just sat down behind me and watched for a while, the little girl who, after asking her mom if I was a painter, stated that I "wasn't very good" (everyone is a critic). All in all, it was a fun experience which I will likely repeat again soon. If you are out and about on a nice day in Greenville, come look for me!
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