Monday, June 18, 2012

Race Street Pier

Sunday, sunny Sunday! For the groups 4th outing to paint in the Philly area we decided this week to go to where we had intended to paint last week, the newly refurbished Race Street Pier, down along Columbus Blvd., and right next to the Ben Franklin Bridge. They really did a great job of sprucing this old pier up and its quite the happening spot with movies and events schedules all of the time. The pier itself must stretch almost a good quarter mile out into the Delaware River, and it gives you great views of the bridge, the city and camden across the river as well as the SS New Jersey, dock works and more. We couldn't have asked for better weather, low humidity, warm but not too hot and pretty calm winds most of the time--though we did have a sudden gust which upset our easels and knocked my liquin and terps over, luckily my first painting was done---but that why you bring lots of paper towels! You always have to be ready for the wind when painting off the river. At the end of our day the wind was actually starting to kick up pretty good so luckily we were packing it in anyway.

The group gathered at the end of the pier and set up, Diane, Dave and Charles were there when we arrived and we all started painting away, lots of dynamic views to choose from!

The group discusses Dave's painting before he has to leave.
Alina's first painting was a view looking back at the city and was very bold and dynamic--she really plied the paint on this one!

Will and Alina started to battle with the sun, trying to avoid getting a sun burn. You can see Will working away at his painting of the bridge. Alina decided on her second painting to go for a view of the bridge herself and you can see some progress shots below.

Charles also had a great painting going of the bridge as well. This was Charles' first time out painting with the group. You can see more of Charles' work here.
Here is Charles working on his second painting of the bridge. Below are the final two paintings by Charles for the day...

This painting has such a great sense of air in it, something I think we were all going for in our own way.

Here is Dave Wilson's awesome, quick Plein Air for the early afternoon, Dave really knocked this one out quick as he couldn't stay all day.
Here is the block-in of my second painting. Blurring or squinting my eyes everything became basically two tones. I knew since the sun was setting I'd only have about an hour to kick this one out. This is the final painting, I am pretty happy with the values and feel, the drawing gets wonky in spots, but sometimes you have to sacrifice some exactness when working fast to get the spirit of what lies before you.

Rachel painting away, racing the shadows which were starting to elongate as we were well past solar noon.

Will was in full concentration here, even me blocking his view didn't stop him!
Rachel's progress on her painting, a great composition and I loved the structure and solid feel.

This was my first painting which was around 3 hours I suppose, maybe a bit less. Each time one of the Duck Boats would come around I'd race to paint it a bit more, they ran on a 20-30 minute loop. This was 10 x 20.

This is Will's final painting, again grasping what's important, the feel of the light and air, not a generic river scene, but the light of that time, that day. In the end we all felt pretty good and it really helps to be in such great company where you can learn from each other and observe solutions to similar questions like " how the heck do I paint that?". We often drew a crowd as we painted as well and one of the managers of the pier, we exchanged cards, she said she was so happy to see our group painting there as that was exactly the type of thing the wanted to see happen on the pier. She asked how soon we could come back! Next week who knows where we will go, the weather is forecast to be in the upper 90's and humid, not great weather to be painting outside in, so we'll see what venue we can all agree on. See you next time!

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