I went out today to fish, but it was really too windy for my boat, so I decided to do some Plein Air painting instead. I drove around looking for something interesting to paint and found this church on a corner in Berlin. I set up my easel on a patch of grass in a volunteer fire department parking lot, and painted.
When I was done, there were some people gardening in the church, so I gave them the painting.
I don’t have much to say about this other than I wish I hadn’t painted the telephone poles. Or that I had made them smaller, or moved them – that was a big mistake. Oh well. I’m learning.
I like the church itself. The proportions are right, and the light is close to what I saw while I was there.
The sky I’m most happy with. I am at the point now where I feel I can confidently paint a good sky. A big part of the reason I think my skies are successful is because I lay them down and don’t mess with them. After the sky, my confidence starts to wane, and as my confidence wanes, I start overworking. I should really try to just trust my instincts after I put the brush on the paper – put the paint down, and stop – let the rest of my painting come together like the skies.
When I was done with the painting, I drove down to the AEP Recreation Lands, and walked to the top of a hill to try to paint the hills in the distance. To my eye, the scene there was really beautiful. But, all of the shapes ended up boring as I painted. I tried it three times before I gave up for good.
I think the reason the picturesque view didn’t translate to a painting is because the painting didn’t have the depth and grandiose scale that I experienced in the place where I was standing. This was made more obvious to me when I tried to photograph my location, and instinctively went to a panorama. The scene is powerful because of its immensity. Focusing on the hills that had interesting shapes required cropping out all of the grandeur. I guess for some things – well, you just gotta be there.
I didn’t get a good painting, but I did get a nice picture. And I had fun. It was a good day.
Lego (my dog) came with me. She’s a good dog.