“The Edge of America”
watercolor 15 x 22 inches
Well . . . .here it is again: the last few breaths of summer. For you folks who don’t live in California, your weather is probably cooling off. For us here in the Bay Area near San Francisco, this is our hottest time of year . . . and the prettiest. Open studio has had me cooped up, unable to do much other than work like a dawg to get everything ready for the big event of the year. For me, this means framing, cutting mats, choosing paintings done since last year, culling from last year’s open studio, cleaning the studio (drudgery), cleaning house and the garden and back yard.
Open studio often brings surprises and this time was no different. I don’t often receive young gentlemen who come to peer at the art alone, but this year one popped in. He was commenting on the art as though he knew something about painting . . . .and sure nuff he did! He is a painter . . .and not only that, but a plein air painter. So, after some nice conversation I asked if he would like to paint together. He almost jumped up two feet in the air from excitement! To shorten the story, we painted Wednesday,( the above painting) two elapsed days since my first open studio weekend . . . .that was yesterday. And, it turns out, he is as crazy about painting our cliffs along the ocean as I am! So, we had a ball together yesterday . . . .and it appears this guy could become an permanent painting buddy! Wooo Hooo! That means we each have someone to push us out of our lethargy and to get outside to paint.
I don’t know of any painting process that teaches more than being outdoors right in front of your subject experiencing how light works. How it affects color, how shadows form, how quickly the light changes and the effects of atmosphere. It is an amazing process in which to become involved. Yep, it is harder than studio painting. The paraphenalia one must carry to the site is often enough to convince most artists that it isn’t worth it.
All in all, since I closed the open studio doors last weekend, I have been outdoors painting every day, except one. A perfect week! I have one weekend left for another open studio session (this coming weekend) then I have to store everything away before winter sets in . . . .and that happens pronto. So I am enjoying the beatutiful weather while I can!