The sun moves, shadows change; there is only a short period of time that an artist has to capture the shifts of light and color when painting outdoors - but it is this very desire to distill the energy and freshness of nature that drives the plein air painter. Susquehanna Valley Plein Air Painters was formed to bring together artists who share this passion.
I know this is a little wild but I like it. Johanna called a paint out at Negley Park, Lemoyne, PA and we had a fun time painting on this last day of May, 2012. Cecelia stopped by but couldn't stay. The river was a little brown from recent rains and had a lot of color. I tried to scale down my format and found it interesting to reduce so much natural information to such basic simple shapes and colors on such a small size paper. I might call this my "Dinky Series".
This plein air still life was painted as a demo during the "Art at the Straw Bale House" last Sunday. I tweaked it in my studio today. See more artwork at SharonKBennerFineArt.blogspot or www.hanoverareaarts.com/42
Location: en Plein Air Liverpool Boat Access,
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas Panel
Artist: Larry Lerew
This is my semi abstract interpretation of our day painting right along the river at the Liverpool Boat Access on May 10, 2012. The river was high and running fast after the recent rain. The light and color was fantastic so I painted how I felt standing their in the clear fresh spring air. The cloud shadows were dancing around taking the mountains in and out of light and everytime I looked up at the river it changed color. Everytime Bill Andrew saw a log or tree floating by he would say "Quick Larry, paint that in", I'm fast but not that fast. This was a fun day on the Susquehanna River.
I've spent a lot of time in my neighbor's yard, lately. This painting of these striking azaleas framing the Tudor-style entrance took me three sessions. Luckily, I painted the shapes and values of the azaleas during my first sessions; because heavy rains wiped out most of the blossoms the next day. Johanna completed two paintings that day.
I ended up with some available time at the last minute on Thursday so I was happy to join Cecelia, Clare, and Johanna in Cecelia's neighbor's yard. I was tempted to paint the poppies that the other 3 artist's chose to work on, but I really liked the way the sunlight was hitting this small pond in the back of the property.
When I came home I did just a few adjustments to the lily pads - eliminating a few from the composition. I still need to come up with a title for this and am open to suggestions.
Four of us met last week on a mostly sunny, but oddly cool afternoon for May. It was easy to choose this subject from the many charming locations in my neighbors' yard. It's hard to resist the strong color, value and shape [ man made vs natural] contrasts. We painted for about 3 hours, but I needed to return the next day to finish. No pressure to complete the painting in one sittting when friendly neighbors are so willing to share their beautiful yard.
What a great day of plein air painting! I went over to
my daughter's to paint her beautiful flower gardens with
my two granddaughters. We had a beautiful, breezy day
to paint - so much fun! See more pictures below.
What a great set-up - I was able to get out of the bright
sunlight by parking myself under their deck umbrella.
The girls painted right beside me. I see some rather nice
looking flowers being painted...
I got a good block-in done on my second painting of the
day. I love the variety of beautiful blue flowers my
daughter has in these beds...especially that lovely blue flower
directly to the right of my pochade box.
Don't really have to put up with this when I am out painting
in the wild...but I wouldn't give these wild things up
for anything in the world ♥
I usually make a quick 60 second thumbnail sketch just to find the basic shapes and see what I am dealing with. I start thinking "Simplify" and look at what to leave in and what to leave out. I know this doesn't look like much of a sketch but this little short hand sketch helps me compose.
This is the best I could do on site. I laid in the basic shapes but brush control was crazy. I like happy accidents but this was wild. Bill said lets keep at it and stay a little longer maybe the "elements" would calm down.
This beautiful vista was right in front of us but so hard to capture.
Photo taken for reference to complete painting in studio.
Title: "Columbia View From Sam Lewis State Park"
Size: 8" x 16"
Location: en Plein Air Samual Lewis State Park, Wrightsville, PA
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas Panel
Artist: Larry Lerew
We had a great time but boy was it windy. Bill Andrew and I painted from the top of Samual Lewis State Park and both had to run after flying watercolor paper and I had my canvas blow off the easel twice. It was hard to pull a straight line with a brush since the wind would actually move my arm. After an hour and a half we gave in and packed up but first I took a photo for reference back in my studio. I really liked this composition and wanted to complete this painting on site but it was impossible that day and the next trip to this park could be weeks or months away.