Popcorn Skies and a month of Plein Air

Popcorn Sky, 12x9 in, oil


Popcorn Sky, 12x9 in, oil
Popcorn Sky, 12 x 9 inches, oil on linen panel

I want to win a Strada easel. I know. Fat chance. Strada easels are the brain child of Bryan Mark Taylor and they are a cool, light-weight field pochade box. They’re running a contest for the month of September and no doubt thousands will enter. You have to paint en plein air every day of September to be eligible. Five winners will be chosen randomly. (I’m pretty random.)

Although, I’m not really a landscape painter, I’ve painted landscape off and on (more off) since 1984. Lately, I’ve been using more landscape elements in my work and I include skies a lot in my paintings. (Like the one pictured here, which, full disclosure, was actually not done en plein air.) I planned to paint more outside this fall to improve my landscape skills, so I thought why not?

Every day I’ll paint a quick oil sketch and focus on something I want to get better at: painting skies and bushes, using bold shapes, or working on those greens(!), etc. I’ll make faster progress if I focus on only one thing but haven’t narrowed it down yet. These are just meant to be studies to learn certain aspects of paintings, and to practice. So think of it as listening to me practice scales on the piano.

I’m telling you up front that I may not succeed at this. I’m really bad at consistency (which you will know if you’ve followed this blog for any length of time!). Also, I hate, absolutely hate, posting work I’m not happy with and I know I won’t be happy with these since they are just practice. Also, I don’t like bugs. Nature is filled with them. They are everywhere – especially flies. And, I’m still preparing for my solo show coming up quickly in October and my classes which start on 28 September at the Museum. (Hear the excuses starting already?)

Even though I probably won’t get to 30, any time spent painting is good so I figure it’s still worth a try. Like Jake LaMotta’s manager told him in the movie Raging Bull when he wanted him to take a fight, “So do it. If you win, you win, and if you lose, you win.”

I’ll post the good, the bad and the ugly on my Facebook page if you want to have a look.  Or you can sign up here to get the painting in your inbox each day and avoid the risk of losing 2 hours from going to Facebook…