Plein Air – Ellison Bay

July 25, 2013
Ellison Bay; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 6" x 8"

Ellison Bay; Plein Air Oil on Canvas Panel 6″ x 8″

Did some touristy running around in the morning. After lunch, we went to check out a new beach. Up to Ellison Bay. It was sunny during the early afternoon which made for tough painting. (The first painting turned into a stinker and is now resting under a fresh coat of Gesso). After giving up on #1, I checked with Helen who was still enjoying her leisure under the sun.  On to painting #2.

Not a very interesting subject, but it was fun to paint. Had one of “those” plein air encounters. A woman came over to take a look at my work. Only a few moments lapsed before she started to offer her advice (although she admitted that she was too scared to plein air paint merely painted from photographs). This should be real good advice.

After a few minutes, she decided to go back and visit with her family. About twenty minutes later, she was back and asked if I was going to make my painting into a sunset. It was  only about 2:30pm. I was not planning on staying in this spot that long. She proceeded to share with me a story about a sunset which she witnessed during a plane flight. After she arrived home she created a painting based upon the memory of the sunset. I was told that all of her friends thought that she really did a marvelous job. Perhaps, though I do wonder if any of those friends purchased the painting. Now that would be THE compliment.

My subject was to the west/southwest of my spot. The woman than offered the idea that clouds would be good for this work. Good idea however, none present anywhere near my view. As she noticed me scanning the sky around the scene, she let me know that there were clouds behind me, those would work well. I was about to offer to sell her the painting and would therefore put anything in the painting which she desired. Alas and thank goodness, she departed with her family.

I don’t mind people visiting to look in and see what I am doing. I even appreciate those that approach me and advise me that they too are painters but have a few questions about my equipment or are looking for some advice.  But I do cringe at those who find it necessary to instruct me how to plein air paint, especially when they admit to being studio painters who work only from photographs. Someday I hope to be approached by someone whom I know to be a very good plein air painter and offers me unrequested but very good advice on painting the subject before me. I would enjoy eating my words. Until then….

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