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Friday, May 29, 2015

The Green Season

Unlike the vast majority of artists out there, I am a bit sad to see the winter landscape fade away.  Must be my Norwegian heritage.  In Wisconsin, it seems to turn green virtually overnight.  All this green presents a painting challenge (for me at least) and I'm continually working on ways to tone down the brightness I see before me. 
Last weekend, the Wisconsin Plein Air Painters group met at Lion's Den Gorge in Grafton.  For an hour, I was all by myself listening to a very vocal oriole and watching a green heron play hide and seek with me.  This is the reason why plein air painting is magical.  You're out in nature seeing, hearing and experiencing things you wouldn't within four walls of a studio.  Here again, I intentionally selected a spot with minimal green -- just a personal preference.
Lions Den Gorge, Grafton
I'm back chasing summer sunsets again.  On this particular day, the clouds were full and dramatic.  Naturally I thought the sunset would be spectacular.  At about 7:45, with only 1/2 hour until sunset, the clouds just vanished and I knew the sunset would be less than sensational.  That's when you have to improvise as a plein air painter and change your plan mid-way through the painting.  I noticed these stunning backlit cattails and decided to switch my focus to that subject.  I am happy with the peaceful ending to my painting!
Sunset, May 24
"Cattails at Sunset"

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