After waking up way too early and having loads of extra time before I needed to leave for my plain air painting session today, I somehow managed to get late anyway. When I finally got to our meeting place—Borges Ranch on the Shell Ridge Open Space in Walnut Creek—I decided to leave my easel and acrylics in the car and hike the ridge trail with my sketchbook, watercolor kit and camera.Then when I was heading back for the critique, I stopped at the barn and painted the quick sketch above.
Often when I’m plein air painting I’m jealous of all the people who are enjoying the day by hiking the hills instead of standing in one spot trying to capture all the abundant nature in two dimensions on a little piece of canvas. So this time I joined them and it was heavenly. After exploring for an hour or so I found a spot on the trail beside a large muddy pond where I sat and painted the picture below. It doesn’t make sense as a picture but when I look at it I can hear the buzzing bees (must have been a hive in a nearby tree), the birds chirping, and can feel the warm sun shining on me.
This was the first sketch in my new journal with the Legion Multimedia paper. It’s a dream to sketch on; the pen slides right along. The paper is nicely sized and while it won’t take the abuse that Arches cold press will, it does hold up pretty well as long as you don’t try to do more than 2 or 3 layers. This slight limitation will hopefully me keep me moving on to the next sketch instead of overworking one to death.
After the critique (and my lunch) it was mealtime for the farm animals and I couldn’t get any of their attention. This guy looked at me like I was really annoying.
Only the rooster seemed to have places to go and things to do.