Tuesday, December 14, 2010

En Plein View

Funny how things happen sometimes. Lisa and I were traipsing through the woods behind her house, looking for a place to paint en plein air together. There was no path; we were gingerly making our way through the briars, over dead branches, past scraggly bushes and general forest debris. In what happened to be the first pseudo clearing we chanced upon, there was a tree, waiting to have its portrait painted. We both saw it. Either that, or the thought of venturing farther into the woods was losing its appeal.

So we set up shop; Lisa on the forest floor, and my easel just behind her. That's Lisa's faithful cat in the far background on the right. Domino the cat followed us out into the woods and kept watch over us the entire time we painted. Lisa said that no snakes would come near us as long as Domino was close. (Here kitty kitty!) Lisa also said that she didn't notice any poison ivy in our patch of forest.

Lisa was among the first people I met when I moved to Houston as a young newlywed. We fell into the easy conversation of long time friends.

Typical in plein air painting, the sun was fickle, sometimes shining brightly, and sometimes hiding behind the clouds like a shy child hides behind his mother's skirt. While painting, we heard falling leaves, squirrels fussing, birds rustling and whistling, and the wings of an enormous white heron flapping. It was most tranquil.

The time passed all too quickly. I was rushing at the end, trying to get as much color in the right places on the canvas as possible. Lisa had a previous commitment she needed to attend, so we both knew that our time was limited. Nevertheless, when we hit our agreed upon deadline, my painting wasn't quite in a completed state. Lisa suggested that I stay and paint, but not being entirely sure of the way back to her house, I was all to eager to pack my things.

I'll work on this a little more in the studio this afternoon, not too much, just to fill in some spots I missed. It's an 18" x 24" oil on linen.

Thanks, Lisa. It was a fun day.


erinhazel said...

love the bill and ted reference

Sarah Hazel said...

I was hoping my readers would notice that! You should get a prize or something, for being the first to comment.