Outdoors at Last

September 1, 2010

I finally received an email from one of the country artists I paint with suggesting we paint this morning by the field of sunflowers on her family’s property.  We’ve done this for several years now and I was trying to figure out what I could paint that would be different from the four other paintings I’ve done of her sunflowers.  But I was eager to be outside painting again.

It was raining while I ate breakfast but the sky was looking a little lighter and the rain stopped, so I drove out that way.  When I arrived at the field, it was sprinkling and no one else was there.  I took a few photos but didn’t feel like driving all the way back to town with no painting so I set up to paint in my minivan.  It’s 12 years old, so if there should be a spot of paint here or there it wouldn’t bother me.

It was the weather itself that answered the question of what would be different about this painting.   This 16″ x 12″ painting would have a stormy sky.  And because of the rain and since the sunflowers were already a bit  past their prime, the petals looked a little windblown and droopy.   It seemed easier in a confined space to use only mixes of the three primary colors and white.  It was also interesting to work with acrylics that weren’t drying immediately, which is what usually happens when painting outside.

All in all, I had an interesting artistic experience, the painting is not bad, and I’m glad I stuck it out in spite of the rain.

On Monday an exhibit of 17 of my autumn paintings was hung at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Topeka.  They will be there through September and October.

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