1st time out for Plein Air is always . . . an event?

First time out to paint this spring, trying out a newish easel at my favorite empty industrial park – yes, it’s 2020. Was close to finished and the wind blew everything over and smeared the painting. Nowhere to go but up! And good news? I can still zip up my painting jeans.

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A virtual exhibit –

April 15 – May 20, 2020 – a virtual exhibit through Concord Umbrella, includes 2 of my plein air pieces painted at Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary.

From the website:

Water in all its forms inspires wonder: the intricate beauty of a snowflake’s design, the tranquility of a flowing stream, the invitation of a winding river, the abundant life of swamps, fens, marshes, and the pure magic of a spring. A river’s watershed encompasses the entire land area draining into it. In our local watershed we are all downstream, so all events in our watershed affect us. Flowing water has immense potential power. The Merrimack River powered huge cotton mills and built the cities of Lowell and Lawrence in Massachusetts. But too much or too little water can create massive destruction, such as floods and droughts. Even communities in proximity to water may lack infrastructure to supply clean drinking water.

We asked community members to respond to the question, “What aspect of water speaks to you?” Some chose the wonder of a spring, others the engineering of a dam, and yet more simply focused on the river in their backyard. Collectively, the work of these artists presents us with endless perspectives on our local SuAsCo watershed but also on the mystical presence of water in all aspects of life. We invite you to explore their work and the wonders of water!

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Art in the Time of Corona: week 1

My oil paints are in my studio, my acrylics are in a barn in Vermont and I, now with the attention span of a fruit fly, am sequestered at home with gouache, watercolors, pastels, crayons, inks and, thankfully, paper. It’s been awhile since I’ve used these, and I am expecting a certain amount of pain growth. Let the good times roll.

Today I start with gouache. This is the traditional gouache that originally developed in France while the English developed watercolor. It is opaque, water-soluble, will rewet and has a flat finish. Like watercolor, it can be very portable.

My studio assistant is Alfie. I keep sitting in his favorite chair.

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Demo – drawing on Dura Lar

Photos courtesy of Kai Alexis Smith, Architecture and Design Librarian at MIT Libraries

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