Painting with Friends
This summer I was fortunate in many regards, but one experience that was particularly special was to get out of the city to paint "en plein air" with friends. Three of us went off to the Connecticut shore for a few days that happened to fall between unbearable heat waves. Not only was the camaraderie fun, the give and take of feedback, inspiration and encouragement created extra energy which definitely influenced the quality (and quantity!) of my paintings. Luckily we three were relatively easy-going about finding places to paint and didn't waste much time pondering the merits of this or that view. Two of us were working in oil paints and the third in watercolor. While we were attracted to similar views, our styles and approaches differ which encouraged alternative insights and ideas for problem-solving.
A couple of days we painted in the morning and afternoon. We did as little cooking as possible (luckily we all considered salads and sandwiches adequate for most meals!) and focused our energies on painting and talking about painting. We even went out one cloudy day - the weather forecast we studied carefully said it would clear up in the afternoon. It didn't really (in fact, it drizzled a little), but there was enough of a break at the end to add a little pizzazz to the little painting I worked on that day.
After a few days we had paintings lined up to dry. Oil paintings dry slowly and as the humidity increased so did drying time!
We weren't complete ascetics, however. One night we treated ourselves to the local specialty - lobster rolls!
Painting is such a solitary activity normally, that I (not an introvert) thoroughly appreciated the company and overall experience. Looking forward already to "the next time."
I'll be adding the 5 paintings from this trip to my website soon. Stay tuned!