If you didn't read my last few posts about Plein Air painting and the Bill Davidson workshop on Pawley's Island, SC, you may want to go back to read them. I didn't mean to start a series, but that's what i ended up doing. My slowness learning new technology didn't help the matter any either! Today's entry is the final entry of the Bill Davidson series!!
In my last post I shared three of the paintings from the retreat, and today I will share the final two plus one that I painted when I got home. If you remember, I went on the plein air retreat in order to learn how to paint this beautiful landscape right outside of my door. I feel as though I will never be able to capture what I see here in the way that I feel it. So, that is what has motivated me to turn to landscape painting for a while to see where it leads me and if I will be able to translate what I learn into acceptable representations of this beautiful old farm and farmland. Granted, I went to a seaside retreat while there is no water in sight around my house! However, I think that what I learned, with practice, will translate well to this flat, sea-like expanse of fields and sky.
Now, for the final two paintings of the week. The painting below was made early in the day when everything was a little gray and subdued. I mainly tried to capture the color temperatures and quietness of the scene. When this is placed in a brushed silver frame, the blues calm down and the coolers temps come forward. In this photograph the colors are more intense than they are in person. Overall, its effect is what I was after and I will use this as a reference for a larger painting.
The final painting ended up being my favorite. Everything came together well here. The lessons from the week about composition, simplicity, clouds, color temperature all worked out well in this painting. On that day, the marsh still had its winter colors, other than bits of green here and there, and there was a definite pink cast to the grasses in the distance. As Bill instructed, I simplified the marsh and cooled down the horizon, and it all worked out!
When I came home, I immediately wanted to try painting here on the farm. The picture below is my first attempt at painting here. I didn't accomplish what I wanted to with it, but it is not a bad start. I will try again another day!
Many things Bill said stuck with me from the week, but one very important thing he said was that when we are trying to learn new things, (such as the ideas he was presenting) we have to expect that it will take many attempts to get where we want to go. He probably didn't say it in those exact words, but it was something like that, and it was his way of being encouraging. I know that painting these Plein Air landscapes is about more than the finished product, although it feels good to turn out a good one. It's also about the moment, about being outside, seeing and feeling the beauty of God's perfect work in creation. It absolutely fills me up to experience it! I am reminded of an inspiring song by Rita Springer (one that I will have to blog on later!) titled, "Everywhere." Take the time to look it up and listen. It's a simple song, she says, composed quickly by the sea. It begins like this:
Oh, the way the sea
Crashes on the shore.
And with endless praise
Glorifies your name.
Oh, the mountains green
Stand with faithful feet
Raise to point their song
And declare you King.
I can see you everywhere........
and so on. Do take time to listen. If it was, indeed, composed quickly by the shore, then it is a moving piece of art that tries to describe the indescribable and remind us all of the beauty and glory of creation. That....is my goal, too.
Thanks for taking the time to share this journey with me.