Lessons Learned: Plein Air Category

If you’re painting en plein air, your brushes should not be grass green. Ask me how I came upon this notion! I’m tempted to dip the ends of all my brushes in safety yellow or blaze orange just for ease of finding. And no, I didn’t find the brush I dropped and I spent too much time looking. If it turns up in the corner of a bag or something it will be a freakin’ miracle.

I’d headed over to The Clark for a 9 AM curator-led gallery walk of the Picasso print exhibit. That was very interesting and informative. I’ll go back some other early morning to go through again and look at everything with some new ideas. Afterwards, I enjoyed the rest of my coffee and headed up toward the back hill. It was hard to pick a view – there were great clouds in all directions. I took my roll-up stool with me because it poured last night. That was a good decision, unlike the green-handled brush. At least it wasn’t one of my new brushes – I’d still be there looking.

clouds 18 july 2017//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Still making progress

Not quite done, but mostly.

Things Seen While Wandering

Along the road into Papscanee Preserve.

Some of the corn near here had small ears despite not being very tall.

New colors

Mixing the new colors

I came home with three new colors. The brits are always saying throw some raw sienna in the sky. Mine looks like an orangey brown, theirs looks positively yellow. The good news is that it mixes with cobalt or ultramarine to a warm browny grey.

This shows mixing the three new colors: rhodolite genuine, aureolin (cobalt yellow) and raw sienna with cobalt and ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson etc. Get an eyeful of that pink!

Photos from the Fourth

Here are most of the photos I took during my travels on the Fourth – to the Clark, along the Green and home again.

4 july 2017//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The Fourth of July Weekend

I promised myself a few days with a minimum of social media and politics and a lot of art, art making and other good stuff. Three days to rest and recover and recharge. Sunday I went to the Clark to look at the new Frankenthaler exhibits and listen to a lecture about exhibit paintings. I snuck in a quick painting too .

In the evening I went to see Natalie Merchant in concert at Tanglewood. She was great. The first half felt subdued but I had no complaints – one of my favs was song #3 –

It was a nice mix of oldies and new work like Giving Up Everything, Break Your Heart and Life is Sweet, and I’m Not Going to Beg.

I felt buoyed up by her comments about the political situation and impressed that she would turn over time in a concert to let someone else talk about local activism.

Yesterday I already wrote some about.

Let me interrupt myself to say: if you have a local museum or such and they offer membership, you should do that – I feel good about supporting The Clark Art Institute, love their impressionist collection and many others on permanent exhibit, get to go to good lectures and some member-only things. And, even though I feel virtuous about supporting them, I surely do get my money’s worth out of it because I go there a lot, probably more because I’m a member.

Today when I went in one of the admissions folks was putting on my wrist band. Members bands are black. Day people get a bright yellow or other color. I allowed as it would be nice if the members got the nice color and everyone else got the black. The young folks said they’d just been talking about that very thing so we agreed they should make that happen for next year. LOL I’m sure there’s a good reason for the brightly colored day-trippers.

My main purpose for the return trip was another look at the Frankenthaler woodcuts exhibit, No Rules. I do think the lighting could be better. These are big (BIG!) things covered in glass and reflections are a problem. The process of making these is collaborative and complex in my understanding. The pieces are each unique and yet strongly tied in to the artist’s earlier paintings on display and to the Japanese tradition of woodcuts.

Then I hung around outside for awhile and did this:

And tonight I did this because every time I go to the Clark I look at John Constable’s cloud studies. Here’s one of them.

Monday, July 3

Had some good times today – Started off by going to the post office to send out a package. Mom and I poked at her iPad which is still not acting right although thankfully in very limited ways, and we discussed options. Then we went to lunch. Then I poked around some, and I took a couple back roads home, like I knew where I was going – must have had some idea since I did make it home.

Mom gave me a solar lantern that looks like it’s filled with fireflies. I hung it on the back arm of the mailbox – maybe tomorrow I’ll get a hook or something to make it a little nicer but I keep looking out and it’s still lit up! (I gave Mom a hat which looked super cute on her because everyone needs a nice hat when you’re outside these days.

Did some painting and did some drawing, did some reading. Did some playing. Did some wash. Got all excited about signing up for August Poetry Postcard Festival and realized it’s a 12 AM Pacific Time opening…

This was from yesterday’s trip to the Clark (where you simply must go to see the Frankenthaler Wood Cut Prints and Paintings!). It was about 80F and windy so watercolors were more like an insta-dry medium.

These were done today. It was worth sitting outside sketching the hostas and birch tree just to be outside hearing the birdies sing.