The East Coast experienced many mild weather days this winter, which drew me out of my studio hibernation to paint in nature. Once upon a time my outdoor painting would consist of small watercolor sketches or pencil drawings. This time around I decided to try quick paintings using acrylic paint and graphite on paper, spending about 45 min to an hour on each painting.
A recent purchase and a new love, the Sta-Wet handy palette, helped make outdoor painting easier. This palette box preserves paints for an extended period of time.. The smaller version was easy to transport and keep paint fresh. My preference of paint brush is more scrubby in texture, short bristle brushes.. Sometimes you just have to make adjustments, when you can’t find what you need, I gave my brushes a hair cut..
Since I am painting on paper, I don’t need an easel, just a hard surface to paint on.. Most of the time I use picnic tables in parks, and or invert the lid to my sat-wet palette to place my paper on. Working small 8″x 10″ or smaller means less paint needed.
Reserve your time in nature……
Supplies I bring for outdoor painting: Reusable bag to transport my supplies, water bottle, water cup (I use an empty yogurt container) brushes, pencil, pre-cut watercolor paper (small various sizes) rag, clips (to hold paper together) Palette fully loaded with paint colors (I try not to bring extra tubes of paint) large ziplock bags to package up my palette and any loose materials. I use a rubber band to wrap around my palette to keep it from accidentally opening in transport.
A year ago at this time I participated in my first art drop, randomly placing small works of my art around the city to be found. I had so much fun with the art drop last time, I decided to do another one. On my birthday, carrying 4 small paintings, I scampered around the city of Philadelphia, leaving my art behind.. This day I felt like a tourist in my own city.
The power to truly listen to that which wants to come through you can be a tough thing to accomplish. Life happens, distractions occur but finding a quiet spot to sit and let your mind wander works wonders…. When words find you in that space where your mind fades, magic happens. Sometimes we just need to get out of our own way.
Oh I wanted to put this book back on the shelf as soon as I picked it up. It scared me to even consider this daily challenge but felt the need to give it a try. Most days I try to live a non boring existence but some days I need an extra push.