View Full Version : Plein Air effort

Kathryn Wilson
08-21-2010, 05:50 PM
It's been quite a while since I've posted something - I've been painting for competitions and rather than take a chance on this site being considered a "publication", I've not posted those efforts.

I did go out today and paint plein air with the Pastel Society of NC group - (when I say I painted with them, I got lost and never did find the group - but we were all there!) :evil:

This was done at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens (they are huge) in the Asiatic Garden.

9 x 12 Wallis Belguim Mist board


08-21-2010, 06:35 PM
vibrant colors on that rock.....what comps consider wc a publication? does Pastel Journal? ( part of wc family of stuff)

Kathryn Wilson
08-21-2010, 06:47 PM
There was a discussion last year I think about whether Wet Canvas could be considered a publication ... at the time I kind of decided to play it safe.

BTW, Pastel Journal 100 does NOT allow paintings done from reference photos in the WC Library.


I do struggle with rocks, so I tackle them at every chance I get - some day, I'll get it :)

08-21-2010, 07:26 PM
Lovely plein air piece. Jen

Kathryn Wilson
08-21-2010, 09:32 PM
Thanks Jen!

08-21-2010, 09:51 PM
I just read the rules of the 100 comp and you are correct about RIL... they must be your own photos if you use them and the art work something not given any national awards at the time of submission, or what they call national publication... they don't say magazine, but keeping out wc wips would be sort of shooting themselves in the foot since they want to promote PJ there and all their other pubs....

Are there other places where you were concerned?

08-21-2010, 09:59 PM
Nice plein air Kathryn! Colors are strong and vibrant!

08-21-2010, 10:12 PM
Great job!:thumbsup: I often get "lost" at paintouts......:D

Kathryn Wilson
08-21-2010, 10:44 PM
Are there other places where you were concerned?

Well, since you ask, the Oil Pastel Society does not allow anything posted on WC to be in their show either - but that doesn't concern this forum.

I am finding myself behind the eight ball this year and having to paint at the last moment because so many of the competitions I am entering have all got deadlines at the same time of year. So, I am trying to build up enough paintings ahead for next year - and thinking some of the requirements might change, I am trying to anticipate. :rolleyes:


Thanks Chris and Drusilla for commenting - as someone said to me today about plein air painting, it's like using a different set of muscles - going from being a studio painter most of the time, then successfully doing a plein air painting is rather a happy happenstance.


I discussed another difficulty with plein air painting for me with another WC pastel artist recently - in the studio I am freer with my colors and looser in style, but when I get out in the "wilds", I get all literal and try to paint all the greens and I wind up with a big glob of a green painting. So, I get tighter outdoors and freer indoors - and that seems backwards to me.

08-21-2010, 11:50 PM
Kat this is beautiful. I find I like it for different reasons. it's so different than what you typically do so I'm not sure I'd recognize it as your work. I love the rock and my eye dances around to separate corners. It's ethereal a bit.


Kathryn Wilson
08-22-2010, 06:45 AM
Thanks Barb - that rock was difficult - it was a very dark grey with red splotches throughout, so it looked like a quilt when I got done with it. Again, too literal, instead of changing it or leaving the red streaks out.

Donna T
08-22-2010, 08:32 AM
It's so good to see you flexing your plein air muscles, Kat! I just love the happy, upbeat feel of this one. You're not the only one who fights being too literal when painting outdoors. It's as if we feel we are in control in our own studios but when we're a guest in Mother Nature's studio she has quite a strong influence! ("How dare you move that tree! I put it there!" :lol: )

Kathryn Wilson
08-22-2010, 09:35 AM
Donna - something I realized just this morning - yesterday was like a gift. I had been almost dreading going out and painting. It's been a long and very hot summer and I've kind of buried myself indoors.

But I stuffed all of my gear into the car, drove 40 miles to the gardens, got all of the gear out (muttering to myself about the long walk I faced), and walked to the spot I had chosen to paint from.

I was in the shade, the water looked cool, the reeds were shifting in the wind, the sun on the lilies - and I enjoyed painting out there. What a gift!

Now I understand why plein air painters are so hooked on painting outdoors -

08-22-2010, 12:34 PM
i think the colors you used are stunning!

i tried doing a plein air painting a few days ago and was miserable! i had a good time, but didn't get much of the paintig done in two hours before it rained.

We were painting in a sculpture garden here in Mpls. and there were quite a few people there all painting the same sculpture. It started to rain so we packed up as my pastels don't like getting wet:P the humidity was so high and I was flaring and felt awful. I'm still paying for it with a flare from hell but i'm glad I did it. I hae to learn to loosen up and paint much more quickly!

I think the colors on the rock are gorgeous. And the greens just sing so to me this is a very successful painting. i'm glad you had fun doing it, it shows!


Kathryn Wilson
08-22-2010, 01:04 PM
Sarah - thanks for the kind comments! One thing I did learn yesterday, was to keep the painting small and paint like hell. The light was changing on the water, so I put that in first and then left it, concentrated the most time on the rock, then finished up with the reeds and lilies. Took about an 1+.

08-22-2010, 01:14 PM
I also find I paint more literally when outdoors. I think I feel I have all the time in the world in my studio, but when I'm outside, the light is constantly changing, the weather, bugs, whatever else is going on, it's all so different. I'm much more apt to worry about loosing an essence of something that I fixate on 'getting it right'.

You've definitely kept it loss and colorful! Excellent!

Kathryn Wilson
08-22-2010, 01:18 PM
LOL ... now I'm wondering if I can do the same thing in the studio from the photo I took -


Kathryn Wilson
08-22-2010, 01:51 PM
I also find I paint more literally when outdoors. I think I feel I have all the time in the world in my studio, but when I'm outside, the light is constantly changing, the weather, bugs, whatever else is going on, it's all so different. I'm much more apt to worry about loosing an essence of something that I fixate on 'getting it right'.

You've definitely kept it loss and colorful! Excellent!

I had a little painting buddy that hurried the progress along - a yellow jacket would come along and sit on my easel every so often - with those guys you need to stand back from the easel and see what they had to say :evil:

08-22-2010, 03:04 PM
nice job Kat - sounds like you had a great day and got yourself a very nice painting as a bonus! I guess 'plein aire' is the way to go today - maybe these tired old bones should give it a try!

'blue....' :thumbsup:

Kathryn Wilson
08-22-2010, 03:08 PM
Blue ... if I can do it, so can you. When we gonna paint together????

08-22-2010, 03:35 PM
WOW - that's the best offer I've had in a long time - it would be fun to 'plein aire' together - NC or NJ - or a half way point = Delaware? LOL!

Kathryn Wilson
08-22-2010, 03:36 PM
Sure ... name the place :)

08-22-2010, 04:23 PM
Kath: That is one juicy rock. (I love orange against blue, my favorite complements). Love the loose and free feel to this. Do more while the weather is good.

08-23-2010, 01:04 AM
Kathryn, i love the different textures in this piece. Very nice...also the colors are refreshing... Love it.