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Plein Air Painting

There's a lot to be said for plein air painting to improve many facets of your own painting ability, so I scheduled a 2-day workshop in mid March when the weather is usually quite stable. I then set about to find a couple of suitable locations bearing in mind that is has to be an appealing scene with plenty of space for seven people to stand with easels safely, since the workshop was full, and room to park vehicles and not miles from home either! Thankfully I found perfect spots filling all the requirements and the weekend loomed to be perfect, warm and sunny and as a bonus the thick smoke from the planned burning had finally cleared away...phew! Now it's not an easy task to stand on the side of the road with cars whizzing past trying to capture the fleeting light, facing a 12" x 16" canvas that has to be filled quickly before everything changes but everyone managed extremely well and I was so happy with the spirit with which we all produced our paintings. As I look at mine now I can see some glaring faults, like the horizon being to close to the middle and not enough foliage on the gum tree but it's not that bad for a couple of hours painting with many interuptions. The major enlightment for me is how much I enjoy painting outdoors and the wonderful lessons it imparts like seeing the true colour and tones of your subjects and the sponteniety with which you capture your scene and leaving out the unnecessary details. I am definitely committing to do more now and would like to schedule it in as a regular occurance!

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