From Plein Air 2017

Last Day of 2017

My first year of Plein Air has come to an end. By my count, I met with the group “in the wild” 23 times and “in house or yard” 8 times. I also went out on my own 8 times.

That’s 39 plein air painting trips for my first year, and I’m satisfied. Over all, on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give myself a “4” for painting effort this year. That’s an improvement of a point or two over previous years. And over half way to an impossible high of 6, maybe 7!

(Haven’t painted outside for the past three weeks, after all ;))

By the by, I am finally finishing up a small portrait of my nephew for my sister. She has been waiting a year for it. Landscapes have made me want to do other paintings, purely so I can start and finish something without a time limit!

Looking forward to “Plein Air, Year 2.” Happy 2018!

Jane’s Garage

Plein Air #36 / 12.06.17 / 8×6 acrylic
Porter Ranch, CA
“In Jane’s Garage”

This was the week of extreme wind and fire in our locale. 16 fires, four within 25 miles, with >1000 structures lost at last count. Out of range for the moment, we ducked the wind in Jane’s garage.

Carol worked on an Italian gondola, Jane on a French boulangerie. I didn’t know what I was going to do until I got there, taking no references with me. The obvious subject presented itself. I think Jane’s husband thought I was crazy for immortalizing his Sparkletts bottles. No “before and after” because I made almost no changes.

Tampa & Wilbur Park

What I brought home! (Not a lot!)

Hey, two neighborhood-type parks in a row, this one on three levels. We walked up a long driveway and chose to paint on the uppermost level. I chose this view for all the sweeping pathways. There were a lot more houses in the distance, but I thought four or five were enough.

Plein Air #35 / 11.15.17 / 10×8 acrylic
Tampa & Wilbur, Porter Ridge, CA
“Near the Sandbox”

I brought my new friend Sue to our little plein air group, and we made introductions and enjoyed a bit more talking than usual. I didn’t get very far while there, but that’s okay :).

Viking Park

What I brought home.

This is a neighborhood park–the kind with green grass and playground equipment–not our usual haunt. The thing that stuck out: a hill standing off to one side, all by its lonesome. I left out lots of bushes and all the playground equipment at the foot. Hey! I totally forgot to put in the bench under the most forward tree!


Plein Air #34 / 11.08.17 / 10×8 acrylic
Vikng Park, Porter Ridge, CA
“Lone Hill”

Porter Ridge Park

What I brought home

I looked at my pictures after I got home and saw much pinker hills in my photos than I remember in person. The pinker/bluer hills definitely sit back a whole lot better than the yellow ones I left with. I also had the darks too dark back there. If only I’d remember these little lessons right when they’re needed!

Plein Air #32 / 11.01.17 / 10×8 acrylic
Porter Ridge Park, CA
“Up Against It”

When I’m painting at home, I’ve discovered I seem to get out of my head a bit better when listening to a book on my old ‘n’ trusty, dirty and dusty, little MP3 player. I call her “Poopsie,” but I can’t tell you when or why she got that name. She’s probably near 10 years old now and has traveled 100s of miles with me on exercise walks.