The Last Class

July 27, 2011

The plein air class I have been attending this summer met for the last time Monday evening.  Once again the younger people all evidently decided it was too hot and didn’t show up.  Only our young teacher, myself and the other senior citizen arrived at the appointed place just up the road from the dam at Clinton Lake.  Young teacher was not well prepared.  He had remembered  from some time in the past being out here that there was a nice view beside the road on this high ground.  What he had neglected to check out was the fact that there was absolutely no shade and the temperature had been in the mid 90s that afternoon and even at 5 p.m. the weather was very hot.  We both declined to paint anywhere that was not in the shade.  So we got in our cars with young teacher in the lead and drove around that general area looking for a spot that was both scenic and shady.  The other senior citizen soon gave up and left.  But I had seen a beautiful pile of clouds in the sky that I wanted to paint.  So young teacher and I looked for a spot in the shade where the clouds would be visible and we found it in a nearby park area.

We both set up our easels to paint.  I was soon joined by more bugs than I had experienced on any of our other outings.  Although I wore long pants and long sleeved shirt, the little critters were biting right through my socks and I had forgotten what should be one of the staples of a plein air painter’s supplies, bug spray.  Nevertheless, I continued to paint.  The clouds weren’t very cooperative though and the most striking formations vanished.  Fortunately, I had taken a photo.  We each sort of finished a small painting, although I plan to work on mine some more at home.  This was the last class of the series.  But once the weather is cooler and the autumn colors begin to appear I will be looking for more opportunities to paint outside.

At home this week in preparation for an upcoming show at the Topeka Art Guild Gallery, I finished a painting of a scene in the Austrian Lake District that I had begun some time ago.  At the time I wasn’t sure it was worth finishing but it didn’t turn out too badly.  I posted it on the Far Away Places page.

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