Today I decided to pack my gear and drive out to an area I have admired and set up and paint. I have been staying home, painting here, at the farm, for such a long time, it felt a little like an adventure, like I was stretching my wings and my experience. I pulled off onto a narrow shoulder, where the hill in front of me was looming and spectacular, fully in it’s transition from green with grass to dry.

IMG_3567_1_1I quickly blocked in the composition with transparent burnt sienna. I was working on canvas paper, taped to a board, something of a throw-away material if it didn’t come together. While the notations I made, dried, I mixed paint with a palette knife. I mixed and matched the two main hill colors plus a light and a dark for the trees. It didn’t take too long before I realized the colors were all wrong! I’d gained confidence mixing colors since I’ve been working outdoors but something happened today and they were all too dark and way too dull. (I can’t even bring myself to show you.) I think it is because I set up in the full sun, palette and all.

I’ve learned a lot today. The day didn’t go to waste. I took so many pictures of places I want to paint, and noticed very few places with shade. No wonder all those plein air pros use umbrellas!big hills


making hay


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