Orcutt Ranch #2

Plein Air #16 / 5.5.17 / 8×10 acrylic
Orcutt Ranch, Chatsworth, CA
“Bicentennial Tree”

Well, I went through with it, I went out plein airin’ on my own on Friday. I went back to Orcutt Ranch because there are lots of subjects to choose from there. It took 13 minutes to drive the 5 miles (aren’t all you people supposed to be at work by 10AM?)

I set up, pulled out my sketchbook, and did a small sketch of the main shapes and the dark/light pattern (notan). Other than that, I did none of the other “gettin’ organized” stuff I thought I had decided to do. I drew the subject in paint and then promptly moved it over half an inch when I started painting. No value planes, no color sketch, no revisiting the notan, etc.

What I learned today:

–If I think there is a formula to this plein air thing, I might have another think coming.

–Highlights in the sun: orange is better than yellow.

–I’m a very lazy color mixer.

–I really have to start finding a wall to put my back up against when I paint. People standing behind me are a concern. I don’t care about them looking at my work; I just don’t like wondering what else they’re doing. It’s about safety, if nothing else, when I’m by myself in undertraveled areas.

–I need to step back to look more often. Not just for the art; after standing an hour, I’m rather stiff. Unfortunately, this could be a problem should I find that wall to back up against.

I was happy out there alone; I have always entertained myself easily. I don’t dislike going out with others, but I did find my attention was more focused. That is, less the small interruptions… Friday’s assortment of humanity included the same kid that jogged by three times (I infringed on his circuit), a lady with a beautiful dog who complimented me on my choice of subject, an older couple who stopped and told me to paint in a visiting crow, and three or four others walking through in about three hours.

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