Monday, June 06, 2011

En Plein Air

Took myself away for a few days, to try a bit of plein air painting in Lyme Regis. I normally invent the general backgrounds and figures in my work but as in life, you learn most from direct experience of something. By missing what you don't know you're trapped within your own limitations.

Here's a demonstration of why 'downhill bus drawings' aren't a genre in art history;

After exhaustive research, the best Cream Tea award goes to Mill View...You've got to love the public. I think my favourite comment came from a youngster who appeared next to me almost as soon as I'd discreetly set painting. Regarding me with the same kind of incredulity as if I'd smeared mustard over myself and was singing in Latvian, she asked; "But.. Why are you doing it?"

I spent two afternoons on this, maybe four hours in total.
I hope Douglas and Bette would have liked that someone painted from their bench;
On Chesil Beach I noticed the tones of the rocks were perfect reflections of those in my lunch;
I also ate in Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's place in Axminster, which was very good.

Lessons learnt;
For plein air, working sight-size is probably best.
Smaller is more manageable.
A landscape is probably easier.
Harbours are visually busy; go for a boat and its reflection instead.
Take a decent, opaque white.
The walk up Golden Cap is relentlessly steep, but well worth it.
You can buy a Pith Helmet in Bridport, though I didn't.