Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Plein Air

Christmas Day
12 x 16

Happy New Year, everyone!  May you paint often and well in 2011.

Christmas day was gorgeous and above freezing, so I ventured out for a plein air day. My son wanted to try his new fly fishing rod (special because it breaks down into 4 rather than 2 pieces like his old one; the way that I am about art supplies, he is about fishing gear) and I wanted to catch the amazing, clear light. By wearing my nitrile gloves and standing in the sun, I was able to finish this fresh little painting with fingers intact.

The problem with painting in the sun is that your colours look wonderfully saturated and rich while you are working, and then, when you get home and look at the piece in normal room light, they suddenly turn dim. It's a fact that I haven't totally learned to compensate for. But I knew that I'd need to make adjustments, and Christmas dinner was calling, so I left the painting outside in a patio-cushion storage box until I could next get to it. I do the same thing with my palette every night after work. The freezing cold stops the paint from drying, so I can work wet-in-wet for a much longer time. Adding clove oil to your paints (just a drop or two) will, apparently, do the same thing, but I haven't tried this yet.

It wasn't as bad as I feared, however. I just needed to add a bit more orange to the weeds in the snow and brighten the water with more intense greenish blue. I'm pleased with this because it captures the special light that drew me to the scene in the first place.


Ann Rogers said...

Beautiful abstract feel with wonderful light and shadow contrasts. You've used just the right amount of cool and warm tones to make this such an inviting piece.

Ingrid Christensen said...

Thanks, Ann!
I saw that you attended a Calvin Liang workshop, and was in awe. He's amazing. I like the plein air pieces that you produced in the workshop. Lots of loose, lush paint application!