On Saturday, September 26, 2009, I participated in a plein air painting event in Penetanguishine, north of Toronto. The event was held at Awenda Provincial Park.
At first it seemed we would be getting some rain - it was a very cloudy day. Fortunately, we had only a few minutes of very light sprinkling. The temperature was a bit cool, so with many layers of clothing I was quite comfortable and had a great time working surrounded by the beauty of nature in Awenda Provincial Park.
I don't know how many participants there were but it there was a pretty good turnout and the artists worked in a variety of mediums, including oil, pen and ink, watercolor and graphite. There were also a few photographers, one of whom was taking shots for his wife who is a rug hooker. I used my oil paints on gessoed masonite panels, using a couple of 9x12 boards and one smaller 5x7.
I must admit that landscape is not my forte. I keep aiming for a masterpiece, but even without attaining that goal I am receiving good training for the eye with regard to color and value and improve all my other work. I intend to persist in this discipline and continue to gain the benefits.
Out of doors, the value range is so immense and detail so profuse that you really have to edit and choose in order to get a good design. The tendency for many is to put everything in which does not make for an effective painting.
My new mentor, Dawn Whitelaw, who is a plein air afficionado, once told me to choose what your painting is about - what makes you want to paint this particular scene and focus on that. For this first piece, for me, it was the sky, so my composition reflects that.