Sunday, August 5, 2012

Art by the Lake -en plein air painting

Sheds, 12x9" pastel on Colourfix paper by Adriana Meiss

Yesterday was the Art by the Lake at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown. My friend Vicky and I participated as plein air painters. There were also fine art vendors under a huge tent and I was impressed by the quality of the work.  We had all day until 4:00pm to paint to our heart's content, but the heat and my heavy set up (why do I always carry more than I can handle?) were a factor in my not being able to produce more than two paintings.

Not being familiar with the area, it took me half an hour to find the best locations to paint. Also, because it was so hot, I wanted to paint under the shade of trees.  What to paint first? Here I had to estimate or foresee how the light/shadow patterns were going to change in the next two hours and decide whether I should wait till the afternoon when the light might be more interesting. At first sight, I was tempted to paint the lake but the water and the sky being of similar value meant problems so I decided instead on the sheds.

Path by the Lake, 9x12 pastel on Wallis paper by Adriana Meiss
At about 11:30 am I started my second one, Path by the Lake. At this time the shadow pattern changed considerably but only in the distant path so I was able to work without major problems.

After lunch I took a long break to see the American Impressionism exhibit and to talk with vendors and other plein air painters. Then at 3:00pm, the  lake looked just perfect for painting: deep blues an greens. Although the water wasn't smooth I swear I could see the pinks of the big clouds reflected on the water. I hurried across the expanse of lawn to get my gear but by the time I reach it any little energy I had in me had left me. It was time to call it the day.  The area is so beautiful that it's in my list of places to visit again and explore with more detail.


Donna T said...

Both paintings turned out very nicely, Adriana, and you should be proud of accomplishing anything in this heat! Do you do underpaintings for plein air work or just jump right in?

Adriana Meiss said...

Thank you Donna! Because the buildings were white, a white paper was out of the question so I used the only toned paper I had which was an olive Colourfix sheet.
I do an underpainting mostly for buildings but I didn't this time- I guess I was so eager to get going knowing that there was more work ahead. White buildings look great when using and orange underpainting because it makes the colors on top look warmer. I did not use an underpainting in the second one either. In any case the only kind of underpainting I do outdoors is the "dry" kind, spreading a contrasting color with packaging peanuts

hmuxo said...

I love both of these paintings, Adriana. Beautiful soft colors, and I give you a lot of credit painting in the heat we're been having! wonderful work.

Letters to a sailor said...

Really beautiful. In my opinion you are a great artist, keep up the good work! I'd love to see more from you!

Adriana Meiss said...

Hilda, Thank you! It's a good thing that I had committed myself to participate in the event otherwise I might have chickened out!
Letters to a sailorThank you so much for visiting and your nice comments!

Rik no Orkut said...


sirnorm1 said...

peaceful. Thank you