Sunday, May 15, 2016

Spring Painting Outdoors

The weather was a bit iffy.  The air was quite breezy, however it was also quite warm for the season, well into the 80's.  Pockets of storm clouds were threatening, but alternating with pockets of intense sunshine.  All in all far from ideal conditions for painting outside with acrylics, I packed up my gear and headed out anyway.
I knew exactly where I wanted to go, it was a spot I saw while on a "sketch and walk" over a month ago.  The trees were still bare then and much of the landscape was still a bit brown but now the foliage is nearly full and everything is very green, we've been having a lot of rain lately, a lot.  So, even though the weather was far from ideal I saw an opening in the rainy weather and dove in.

art painting plein air nature tree path trail park

 "Spring Walk"

14" X 11", Acrylic on panel

This little scene is by the banks of the Jordan River in Murray, Utah and is part of the Jordan River Parkway.  The Parkway is an endless source of artistic inspiration and my favorite section, the Murray-Taylorsville section is a very short drive from my home, even walkable without a backpack full of gear.  I really liked how the seldom used pathway meanders through the grasses and wildflowers and ends at the large tree, it made for a near perfect composition, I embellished very little.  I spent a few minutes in the studio making some minor adjustments, but the painting is at least 95% painted on location.
I took my larger plein air set up that uses a tripod easel but figured out a way to pack it all into a backpack rather than the huge tactical duffel I usually use.  This meant using a handheld palette but the tradeoff was worth it and it actually worked quite well.
I did get rained on just a bit and the wind was a bit of a handful to deal with at first but later settled down, overall it was a pleasant plein air painting session. The forecast is for continued unsettled weather, no telling when I'll be able to get out with the paints again but that's normal for this time of year.


  1. Sounds like you are having similar weather to ours...rain is often threatening. I don't go off hiking like you do, so I give you a lot of credit for hauling all your gear along with you. This is really nice!! I love the variety of greens and that dry path leading into the painting. Good job!

    1. Thanks Joan. I didn't really go off hiking, only about a 1/4 mile or so total and most of it on a paved path.