It couldn’t have been a more perfect day, weather-wise, or a more beautiful site. Maybe it was the beauty and grandeur of the location that made it so hard to get a decent painting. Four of us met this morning on Mt. Tamalpais to paint and stayed until 6:00 p.m But despite the perfect conditions, nobody had a good painting day. Peggy threatened to throw her easel in the lake and take up singing instead of painting.
I’m posting the bad paintings because a reader asked me to show the ones I call “scrapers” before I trash them or scrape the paint off to reuse the panel. On my easel above, was the first layer–the blocking in–of painting #1, in which I “pushed” (exaggerated) the intensity of the colors I was seeing, knowing it’s easier to tone them down than brighten them in oil painting.
I liked the initial bright colors but wasn’t successful in taking it to the next stage, as you’ll see from the picture below. This was where I left off when I gave up after the sun moved and the light and shadows changed and I was just making a mess.
And this one (below) was even worse! The drawing is wrong and the silly, carrot colored-rabbit foot shaped hills on the left kept growing without my noticing and I lost all my darks. The third painting was so terrible I scraped it off on site.
Although I feel like I’ve taken a couple of steps backwards today, I will just assume that means that I’m going to have a big leap forwards soon. My paintings were complete rubbish but I was happy just being there. I found pleasure in small things: mixing a good color, the fresh paint thinner in my brush washer can, excellent company and no bugs, rain or wind so it was safe to use my umbrella without worrying about the wind pulling it (and my easel) over.
My only regret was not taking a hike like all the other people strolling by us. I felt envious of them when I heard them talking about the nearby waterfall and the wonderful trails.
I’m going to start taking a lunch time hike when I paint in beautiful locations. I think it will be good for my painting, my mind, and my butt, which wouldn’t fit into my painting jeans this morning! Must have been all the medicinal chocolate I ate the past few weeks to calm my stress at the day job.