Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cold Windy Brandywine

Last weekend I got out to finally paint plein air after a busy month of school and commercial gigs. I really wish I had gone the week before since there would have been more color as that one week had a biggest wet/cold snap and most of the color was gone in a 2-3 day period.

There was still more colorful trees in the city or around my area as it hasn't been quite as cold here as it gets in the countryside like the Brandywine.
I set up trying to use a tree to block the wind and i also liked the long view it gave me.

                            Alina set up on the ground, being low in the wind I think was a wise choice
 Here is my rough-in and after I got the ground in the sky suddenly changed with the advancing front so i had to rework it quick as the wind pushed in clouds.

 Here is Shawn's block in, he said even though the light had changed he was staying with his original block-in.

 Will was across from em painting the same trees and field but decided to face the elements with his pochade box, which is much heavier than my French easel.

 Alina and will were probably both smarter than me and decided to do smaller paintings. Me, I decided to do an 18 x 24 canvas.

But it was a good day to get out anyway and our group of Will, Alina and Shawn made the most of it. I had been down through this area in the summer when it was really crowded with families, hikers, etc.  It's right off the Brandywine Creek and near an old Indian trail the N C Wyeth and Frank Schoonover used to take from Howard Pyle's house. It was pretty windy so the view I really wanted to paint would have been impossible with the French Easel. It was really hard as it was after about 20 minutes as it seemed a cold front was moving in and the winds really started gusting. At times I literally was holding the whole rig down with my left arm and painting with my right--but eventually the wind which must have been gust to at least 25 MPH lifted and tossed my whole rig over, painting, paint, terps--all of it.
                                                                    My final painting

My phone also died or I would have taken more pictures. That could front also dramatically changed the light as it went from partly cloudy to mostly cloudy in less than 20 -30 minutes. But these are just the issues you have to deal with painting out doors and the unpredictability of Mother Nature. So after the wind slapped my easel and painting down and only a tiny amount of terps left I righted the rig and had to make some bold choices. I had plenty of Liquin, so I grabbed my biggest  flat and went at the painting figuring I had nothing to loose  now and about 20 minutes before the light was totally gone. In the end I was happy with what I ended up with as a painting  even though it might not have been the painting I originally planned or thought of. I was forced to make bolder choices and that I feel was a good thing and in a way reflected the day, windy, cold and very November.

My hands were freezing by the end and everybody was pretty cold so we packed it up and headed back to Will and Alina's for burgers and soup! MMMM Good!