With the weather being so clear and crisp yesterday, I ventured outside to paint in Hermann Park. It was chilly, but not too cold, perfect weather for plein air painting. I set up shop in the shade of one of my favorite spots in the park, in a little grove of trees just off the beaten path. Not too long ago, this area wasn't groomed at all, and Reese and I had a lovely anniversary picnic in the tall grasses under this tree.
At first, I wore my glasses while painting, but was spending way too much time on details. With the sun constantly changing, details are not what one should spend time on when painting out of doors. After taking off my glasses, painting was much more enjoyable. After looking at this photograph, I'm tempted to put in some details that I now SEE. But I won't. A perfect reproduction is not what this is about.....it's an impression, a moment, my interpretation of this scene.
In the shade on a chilly day = cold to this Texas girl. About halfway into the painting, my toes went on strike. They were literally numb. Not kidding. I kept running to a patch of sun on the footpath trying to warm up and get the circulation back to my eight toes. (My big toes were fine.) If I'm ever lost in a snowstorm, the toes will be the first to abandon ship. They hate the cold and refuse to work in cold weather. They even forced me to sign a special clause in the "Sarah Hazel's Body" contract, specifically stating that they would stop working in the event of excessive and prolonged cold. Not to worry; after two cups of hot tea at the end of the day, and the heat cranked up in the house, the toes are happily working again.
This is the fourth time that I've painted this particular tree, though the first time from this angle. It's 16" x 20", oil on linen.