Friday, February 27, 2009

Plein Air Painting

Plein air painting has its plusses and minuses. Getting something from real life is always better than trying to recreate something from a photo. But we all know there are problems associated with painting outdoors. There is the wind blowing over your easel and your canvas lands in the dirt. There's chasing the shadows or the tide. There's dealing with people and traffic. There's trying to paint with the sun in your eyes or directly on your pallette or canvas. Etc, etc. I added another one today when we went to Midgley Bridge to paint, falling into a canyon. Check out the photo. To get a good view of the bridge, I had to set up fairly close to the edge of the cliff. I was not dangerously close, but I didn't have much room to back up to check out my progress. I did get a queezy feeling in my gut if I got too close to the edge. I was trying to block things in as quickly as possible as the shadows change quickly on the rocks and I wanted to get away from the edge.

Jerome had its own set of problems. Jerome is a former mining town not far from Sedona. It has tons of great locations to set up and paint. There are also tons of people, lots of traffic passing through and, depending where you set up, lots of dog poop. Here is a photo of "downtown" Jerome and the quick underpainting I did. Using the reference photo I should be able to finish this one. I was mainly working on perspective and can see a few changes that need to be made. I started another one (while waiting for Peter to finish his 4x4 foot canvas) that is off to a pretty good beginning.

I plan on returning soon to paint more buildings plus there is an old "gold mine"/junk yard where you can find lots of abandoned old cars, trucks, buses, etc to paint. I'm looking forward to that.


  1. Tony, Hooray for another painting post. I'm so pleased you're out there painting away. The results look great and your arsenal of stories seems to be growing. (Not a lot of us can say falling into a canyon is a danger of painting outside.)

    One month done---two more to go. You seem to be getting everything Sedona and its environs has to offer.

    (Snow in our forecast for tonight. Lovely)

  2. That gave me vertigo just looking at the photo! Let's see what you painted while standing that close to the edge.

    I used to be able to go to the edge, and, look over...BEFORE I had kids.

    How was the rodeo in Tucson?

  3. So sad, Tony, that you are missing out on our late winter snow and freeze!
    We are enjoying your Arizona adventures; keep them coming. When you get back, you can have a Red Rocks show at Perks. Your art group will be interested to see your paintings. Best to Judy!