During the milder months I paint plein air (in the open air, outdoors) with a group called PAPTIR (Plein Air Painters of the Thousand Islands Region). We usually meet at various locations every other week. These locations are always beautiful and most offer very different subject matter from what I would normally choose to paint. I have far from mastered the art of painting plein air. Truthfully, I just had a long talk with myself that went something like this: “You are painting a studio painting instead of the essence of plein air. Broaden your view and include the mood of the landscape and location. Stop closing in on your favorite elements. Step back.” Good advice in designing a garden as well, now that I think of it.
As an example, the featured painting this month Unfurling Ferns I painted plein air a few weeks ago. But this view is tiny and close up, and should not have been the focus of my painting that day. I do not typically paint landscapes and this is my problem. I prefer objects, close up views. My real dream is to paint my own garden (once I build it to the point where I have lots of subject matter), and so I am drawn to foliage, flowers. Thus, I chose to paint ferns – close up – something that I have been wanting to paint. Much more difficult than I imagined, I might add. I will need to attempt ferns again in the studio with more study.
The location where we painted was a country home that belongs to a very talented artist and extremely gracious host. The grounds offer beautiful views and gardens. I took many photos for future studio paintings. Anyway, the locations where we paint are so beautiful and inspiring I think I should share them with you.
|Cattle bones found on the property and now are part of this garden wall.|
|View from inside the gazebo.|
|Bird nest sculpture made by the artist.|
|Eryngium, Sea Holly|
With inspiration like this, I really must strive to achieve more with my painting and garden. Hope you are inspired as well.