Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Hate Plein Air Painting

Bugs fly around your head, people stop and stare, the light changes, the wind blows your easel over, dirt gets in your eyes and paint, confusion rules.  Yet the plein air craze continues for thousands around the country.  They are everywhere--they even came to Napa Valley last week.  Imagine--in my own back yard--I'm surrounded--they are coming after me!  I even caught Kevin MacPhearson at the bottom of my drive way a few years ago with his wife Wanda painting a vinyard scene--I managed to pull him away from his easel to go do something important--hit golf balls at a nearby driving range. I thought I had escaped to my controlled,  photoshopped enviorenment where I can trace an image and then color it in like a little boy with coloring book--to use Sergei's phrase (see my February post "My Great Moment With Sergei)--but it looks like I'm doomed.  If you can't avoid'em--then join'em. 

Terry Miura and his crew made it easy.  I was invited as a guest to his wonderful plein air workshop at a local winery.  I had to borrow Silvio Silvestry's portable easel since I destroyed all of my plein air equipment a few years ago as a result of a bee attack while painting outside in a rose garden not 20 yards from my studio.  I taught those damn bees--I broke my $600.00 easel with a shovel and threw all of the gismos into the dumper.  It felt sooo good! It feels good to break golf clubs too, but I always replace the broken clubs immediately with upgraded clubs to keep my set complete.

Anyway--I wanted to see if I could do it.  So.....I plunked Silvio's Russian  easel down in front of  what seemed like the only paintable thing around--this wierd Daliesque looking dome surrounder by hills and bushes--something I long to paint--hills and bushes.  I really needed a weed-whacker not an easel and brushes!

After 3 hours--I was out of gas.  I signed the thing and gave it to Terry.  He told me he liked it and was going to frame it--yeah right.  I think he is going to donate it to Habitat for Humanity for hurricane victims who need to plug holes in the garage wall.  Anyway--I felt better for having made the effort.  I see how people can get addicted to plein air--the bugs, the people, the changing light........Don


  1. This is on my great and very long to do list. I've got the easel, but just need to the table thingy (that's the technical term). God knows when I'll be able to get one, but I think it would be interesting to give it go. I may even get to break my easel!

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  3. J'aime votre histoire, elle m'a fait passer un excellent moment... maintenant il existe des bulles où vous pourriez vous protéger des mauvais sorts des abeilles!!