Yesterday... July heaved quite a lot more than a sigh... and a wave farewell... as she came to an abrupt end. My class of two this week were working directly across the road from our residence painting the stately Victorian Captain Carnegie or the Andress House as it is referred to these days. I had selected this site based upon the fact that a forecast of continued heat... humidity and the very strong possibility (60%) of afternoon thunderstorm activity compelled me to consider shade and a quick retreat for cover as the major considerations for the class location.
It turned out a good choice... given that these conditions did occur... and the wonderful shade of the three ancient oaks... plus a continuous light and cool westerly breeze made painting a real pleasure! Besides this fact... there was a large picnic table for my water media enthusiasts to set up on which looked directly at the subject. I set up my easel alongside and in front a touch... allowing them to follow my demo and my work as I progressed... without having to get up from their own work stations. It so reduced the back n' forth which can really tire the aged feet of this painter... so very relaxing and enjoyable for all!
One of the gals works in watercolour, while the other works in acrylics. I demo'd using their mediums in previous sessions and neither was uncomfortable with my using oil to demo in the following sorties. I constantly remind them of the basic difference between water media and oils and to apply the rule:
"Light to dark... in transparent washes in water colour. Dark to light in transparent stains in oils with glazing or addition of stronger pigment application as one proceeds. Acrylic can work either way because they dry more quickly and can be over painted without worry. By following this pathway... we could work together with more or less the same plan of attack towards a finish.
None of us achieved a final state of finish... due to the fact that the lighting changed dramatically towards the late afternoon... as the storm conditions moved in. I got along further because I had painted the scene twice before and therefore knew when the shadows on the faces of the building parts would change... and I was already prepared to make those changes.... QUICKLY!
I demonstrated the value of taking a quick digital reference photo when the lighting that you want is strong... and available. This can then be carried back to the studio for future consideration to support the work completed ... en plein air. I promised to jpeg this photo to them so that they could each work further with their individual piece and to bring to share with the group next time.
At noon hour... Deb and I hosted a cold luncheon... a relaxing time for us to share work from the previous time together... " Palette Talk"... and of course some summer food! It was a glorious opportunity to be together... doing what we all share a passion for... In God's Green Garden... Manitouana... Garden of Manitou (God)... as the First People's called it! On this last day of July... 2012... it is surely that! Does life get any better????
"We"... think not! "We"... are deeply blessed! Stay tuned for the finished results!
Good Painting to ALL!
Oh yes... about the Wind-blown and Water-soaked part! At just after four pm... the weather turned nasty as the gun metal grey skies were etched in continuous snaps and strikes of lightning... the air echoing with repeated thunder rolls.l The wind swung unpredictably from the west... to the east and then dead out of the south almost at will... and then repeated the pattern again. Trees were laid out in gale force winds as the rain hammered down on the previously parched pavement... producing that wonderful perfume only smelled at such times in hot summer conditions. It was fearfully... "electric" to watch and be a part of!
Boaters headed to the docks and held their craft from being battered against the south-facing docks at the marina as the storm raged. Wendy's tent... once secure and beside our picnic table painting site disappeared up the road to the top of the hill before anyone could rescue it. And as suddenly as it had come... the storm departed... leaving the rest of the evening in the form of a much-needed soaking.... a gardener's delight!
Such is life in the Thousand Island village of Rockport- usually quiet in the evenings... but never without the possibility... of SURPRISE!!