My first plein air outing

In anticipation of joining the Portland Alla Prima group paint on Thursday, I thought I’d better give that plein air experience a try near my house. Who knew what I would need and what I would forget to pack. I considered this a dress rehearsal.

My set up is not sophisticated. I purchased a $60 dollar portable aluminum easel from Dick Blicks about a month ago. It’s lightweight, has a carrying case, but does not hold your pallet. The top does not compress down low enough for the small paintings that I do. My pallet is in a sterilite plastic box, with wet paper towels under parchment paper. So far it has worked indoors, but on this sunny warm day, my paints dried continuously, despite constant spritzing with water. The wall ended up being a great place to set supplies and water, but I would not have this luxury elsewhere. Though not the most enchanting scene, it did have a few cast shadows, and provided some perspective. In the end, I became very hot and thirsty, forcing me to go inside. Even with a hat, I still managed a tan line around the collar.

Inside, I worked a little more on the rock fence, it just didn’t look like Rocks at this point. Also there was no sense of distance between the two trees, and perhaps my sky was a little too close in value to the leaves.

Below is the final version of the Trees Against Cedar Fence, 8 x 8 in acrylic on gessoad hardboard.




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