Monday, October 10, 2011

An Afternoon In the Sun

Yesterday afternoon I decided to sit out on our front lawn and paint some of my garden before everything was gone for the winter. It was a gorgeous day, warm and sunny, a little breezy. The humidity has been really low, too, which is such a nice change. It just felt amazing to be outside. Ricky was working on setting up his new shop and Ian was taking his nap, so I gathered up my supplies (I scored a plein air box awhile back--still had old, but still usable, paint and brushes and stuff in it) and sat out in the grass under our still shady locust tree.

I painted this little corner first: a purplish heuchera and some remaining pink impatiens. The heuchera was a challenge; so many shades of dull dark green and silver and purple, and some of the leaves were a bright violet red underneath. Then the bright green of the impatiens' leaves and little pops of pink, and the dull gold of the fallen locust leaves underneath. I haven't painted from life in a long time, and I haven't painted outside in YEARS.

This is oil on canvas board, 5x7 inches.

Then I sat watching the shadows and light playing over the sidewalk, where all the tiny fallen leaves had gathered in the cracks. It looks like a river of gold.

This is oil on masonite, 5 x 5 inches.

Then, just for grins, I started this loose, sketchy portrait. It was just too awesome being outside but I knew I was running out of time, so I didn't want to start another landscape that would be interrupted. I think she's basically finished, anyway.

This is an oil on illustration board, 4 x 6 inches.

And then I took a photo of the three paintings together on the old palette that had come with the painting box. Small pieces, but it was altogether a satisfying afternoon. And Ian slept for nearly three hours! That was unexpected.