June 20, 2022 BLOWN AWAY – almost. The Plein Air Fest at the National Museum of Wildlife Art is always – almost – quite a fun time. In order to give the artists their best shot at a high quality painting we are allowed to begin our painting earlier, but must complete it during the festival, outdoors, at the Museum. This year it started out to be a most pleasant warm sunny summer day. I had finished the easy part the day before, which was the background of the piece I planned, including the Sleeping Indian mountain. Though the background landscape occupied ¾ of the painting, the “main event” – the polar bear sculpture, titled “Churchill” by Margery Torrey – would be the most difficult element.
Not long after setting up and casually beginning to paint, the wind picked up to gusts of 40mph. It turned out to be the most difficult painting experience ever (except rain, of course.) I had to lean on my painting with my forearm, so it wouldn’t blow away, and place heavy items on top of my painting saucers and water bucket. Perhaps it increased my focus, however, because I was actually pleased with the result, in spite of having to make quick adjustments to my original plans.
(Sidebar: Since everyone else was painting with a summer palette, I, of course, had to be contrary and create a winter scene.)
“Torrey’s Churchill” 10″ x 13″ watercolor on silver shikishi.