What a Glorious Time!!!

Wow! Wow! and Wow!

What a glorious time it has been. A dream has come to pass. It has begun and I couldn’t be happier. It’s as if my inside has been filled up with total joy and excitement.

This dream?

To go plein air painting. But not just to paint any ol’ thing, but rather to stay in an area and imbibe of its essence. To let Father show me the glory He has created in that place. To begin to get down colour ideas and the composition of things. To feel the beauty. To drink it in. and then somehow to put that onto canvas. A tall order and I seriously often question whether I am up for the challenge of my dream.

‘En plein air’ is a term coined by the French which means ‘in the outdoors’. Outdoor painting comes with its own set of challenges. You only get approx 2 hours per painting as the light has changed significantly in that time. If you stay too long your shadows will be coming from the opposite direction, or will be twice as long. Colours change according to the time of day and are much more vivid than in a photo. A photo also takes away the 3d aspect. Battling the elements of weather and insect life help to make it a full immersion experience, which just gets me all excited.

So enough of the explaining and lets get down to what had me buzzing… still buzzing, actually. My first winter beach holiday!

Thornton Beach was chosen because it’s warmer than Taupo, not too far from home and the holiday park allowed dogs off season. Tick tick and tick! Nothing deeper than that.

The first weekend was a scout-out-the-land trip. Was the campground suitable? Was there lots to paint? Was it going to be suitable with dogs in tow? It passed with flying colours. On the first full day there I went out to the point and happily sketched from one spot, moving my chair 90° for each drawing. The objective was to begin to get my eye in the game and really see what was there. So, it was ink (no rubbing out) and no colour. Just keep it simple and concentrate on perspective.

Turn the chair 90°…

Getting better with my values. Liking this one especially with White Island (Whakaari) chuffing away in the background. Good perspective with Whale Island (Moutohara) in the foreground.

Turn the chair…

and whoops! Hhmmmmm… This view is looking back up Rangitaiki River towards Mt. Edgecumbe (Putauaki) but I’ve run into a serious perspective problem. The bridge in the distance should be roughly level with the top of the car, remembering that things get smaller in the distance and bigger as they get closer to you. Better flip the page and start again…

oh, that’s sooo much better! Much more believable! I’m so glad I chose to start again and keep going. Managing my emotions, self doubt, annoyance at myself, discouragement for not being a Rembrandt already (no perfectionism here) etc etc. All things I need to have a good handle on to keep going and enjoy the journey.

In fact, it was soo gorgeous here, that we nicked back home to avoid the bad weather looming and came back the next weekend better prepared. I’ll get that post up tomorrow. But for a first weekend tryout, it was brilliant. Couldn’t have asked for better.

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