Plein-aire as a part of my summer outings.

It’s that time of year, after being inside for the Winter, we can start getting outdoors and taking vacations and exploring again. Covid restrictions are letting up as people are getting vaccinated and being out and about in parks and it feels pretty normal. As for my husband and I, the semester has come to a close so we can find time for long camping and fishing weekends.

As we prepare for camping, in addition to the normal things that you would stow in the vehicle like lodging, bedding and food, we reach for the book to read, the walking sticks, and quiet entertainments. My husband will bring something to whittle, and I will bring my plein-air painting kit. Even in a camp spot with no exotic vistas or intriguing architecture, there are always ready subjects.

It rained off and on while we were camping but the one day was relatively clear and I sat just within the circle of our campsite and pointed in a couple different directions to paint. When I’m working like this these oil sketches are captures for pure fun. They also continue to hone both my powers of observation, quick problem solving and other skillsets.

For me, paintings like this are not large and not intended to be more than moments captured live with the simplest layer between the artist and the living view. I may select subject matter that’s as small as one of the many warblers flitting around the site, or the wild geraniums at the edge of the clearing, or anything else from small to large within my vision because it’s more about the capture and the practice.

These pictures show the two paintings, 5″ by 7″, oil on canvas board that I painted that day. The one I call, ‘Honeysuckle Blooms’ and the other one, ‘Our Path To The Lake’.