Monday, April 16, 2012

Planting Fields Workshop

I spent part of the last three days painting at The Planting Fields Arboretum which is only a mile or two from my house. These gorgeous grounds consist of 409 acres of rolling fields, lovely open areas and many, many different species of trees and flowers as well as the lovely, stone Coe Hall. The Planting Fields is one of my default places to paint and I visit there often.

I had scheduled a one day workshop there with my students who wanted to get outside of our usual classroom environment and get a feel for painting on site. The weather forecast looked great for Saturday, iffy for Sunday (the actual day of the workshop) and great, albeit unseasonably hot for today. I went up on Saturday morning to scout around for some good locations to do my demo as well as suitable locations for the students to paint. I had my painting rig with me in the plein air mobile and couldn’t resist having a go at the following lovely vignette. The structure served as a playhouse for the children of the Coe family who once owned this Gold Coast estate. It’s a delightfully charming little pink building with a whimsical curved roof line and faux thatched roof.

"The Children's Playhouse" 9 X 12 Oil on Canvas. Click the link for purchasing details

The forecasted rain never materialized and Sunday turned out to be another near perfect day. I did my demo in the morning, we broke for a great lunch consisting of a shared plate from everyone and then the students set up and had a go at it in the afternoon.

I walked around with each of them to help find and discuss suitable subject matter. While doing just that with one of them, we stumbled upon the next view. I was so taken by the look of this great natural grouping of shapes and colors that I could hardly get to sleep last night! I went back around noon today to have another look and immediately set up and started slashing away. I think of these motifs as a “plein air still life” The only difference is that I let Mother Nature do the set up and I try not to interfere with what she has accomplished!

"Lilacs" 12 X 10 Oil on Canvas. Click the link for purchasing details

Note that all of these small sketches are available for sale directly from me via this website. Simply click on the link below the painting for purchasing details. The price includes shipping costs in the continental United States. All others please inquire about shipping rates.

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