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Plein Air – Trask

October 22, 2010

Trask Drive, Oil on Canvas 12" x 24"

Clawed Monet and I ventured west of Rockford to a spot along the Pecatonica River. As we left home, the sun was shining brightly. As we arrived at the park and began looking for a scene, I noticed that the sun was behind a thin layer of clouds. The clouds softened the effects of the sunlight. As I started to paint, the clouds moved past. Throughout the morning, this pattern persisted – full sun, lightly filtered sun, cloudy and back again. As the sun moves, it alters the appearance of the scene of the autumn foliage. The changes in light intensity add to the challenge.

At one point, the sunlight started to shine directly on my canvas. In an attempt to shade my painting and palette, I tried to use my umbrella. Futile – that thing is headed for the trash bin. To keep the sunlight off of the painting, I had to routinely change the angle of my easel.

Our set up was near the entrance to the park and adjacent to a busy road, but the park itself was very idle. We worked in relative solitude with the exception of birds which were frequenting the water which flowed from a well tap. After a couple hours of painting, Clawed was sprawled in the sunlight and asleep. Another fun day of work (I never tire of saying that).

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