| 06 October, 2011 00:22
Last week I tried my hand at Plein Air painting for the first time, in the Grand Tetons. Never been to Wyoming or Idaho before, and never trekked anywhere other than another studio or a street fair with my easel, paints and brushes. It was quite an experience! I came home with 9 paintings - well, studies, really - and over 1000 photos of mountains, ranches, trees, waterfalls, lakes, rivers and wildlife. Enough studio painting material to last a while, I think.
My first attempts at plein air definitely leave a lot to be desired. It is truly overwhelming to be out in nature, in perfect weather, beautiful panoramas spread out for miles before you, and you must limit your focus and create a balanced composition on a tiny 6" x 8" panel, or an 8" x 10" or 9" x 12". It's easy to get distracted and lose focus. I was using a view-finder, and kept re-checking my composition, but still I would get lost in details. I wasn't even supposed to be putting in details! I'm posting three of my favorites below.
This one was one of the first - it's the Bullfrog Pond in the Gros Ventre area.
This is my impression of the water at a bend in the Snake River.
And this one is a sunset at Schwabacher Landing.
I'm looking forward to my next Plein Air experience. Perhaps right here in Texas where I can drive my gear to my painting location. It was a bit of a challenge packing oil painting gear to fly. But I wouldn't have missed the experience in the Tetons. The smarter artists in the group mailed their paints, etc. to our location and back home. No worries about which piece of luggage you packed which supplies in. And no worries about overweight luggage.