Ever since my burst of plein air painting this fall I have been a slacker – distracted by other projects and the holidays. I knew I’d welcome a change of scenery in January so when a friend invited a couple of painters to meet her in a warm locale I didn’t think twice. I am sworn to secrecy about the exact location because it hasn’t been developed to death and it would be good if it stayed that way. Nary a McDonalds or t-shirt shop in site!
It seems I’m packing lighter and lighter for each painting trip. This time I took pencils, a mini watercolor set with just a few brushes and a tiny suitcase with a few pastels. The goal was sketching, not necessarily completing paintings.
My first pencil sketch was from our patio looking at the grasses blowing in the breeze. Just a little something to get going.
The little gull below was done with pencils and my electric eraser from a photo I took on the beach one morning .
I only took a few small sheets of pastel paper. When we visited a state park I wanted to get the feel of the live oaks and the house on the property without having to get into too much architecture. I think this little piece gets the essence of the place.
At another park I did a pastel sketch of the dunes.
This mini sketch was done at an old house the had become a shop for a designer of some very unique clothing. The front of the building was draped with vines. Out back there was a kumquat tree so we picked a few for a still life later.
I like my little watercolor set but watercolor is not my best media. It’s handy but challenging.
As I was finishing up at this spot, a paddle-boarder pulled his gear out of the water and stopped to chat. The scenery improved greatly at that point but including him was beyond my skill level.
In spite of my challenges with watercolor this little sketch at an open air market was my favorite piece of the trip. It might be revisited as an oil painting or pastel.
This trip was just what I needed. I’m already at work on some pieces from the photos I took. I feel like I bottled up some sunshine and brought it back to gloomy Ohio!