Saturday, 20 February 2016

plein air conundrum

This is day three of the Sarasota Paintout......and I am not having as much fun as I thought I would. I am having problems with finding landscape views, and with painting the palm frond foliage shapes. 
On the first day (Thursday last) I drove to the Phillippi Estate Park and after making several value studies of a few possible views, I settled on one thinking that I'd just work through the palm tree problems:  of not being able to distinguish the overall foliage shape of one against another, and then actually in painting them.
Here are the photos of the scenes I thought about painting and the quick value studies I did do.

I finally started and spent most of my time working on a 12 x12 canvas. I actually liked it at one point, but unfortunately, kept painting. After about two hours I packed it in, and thought that perhaps I could improve it in the studio. I did work on it a bit (allowed) and here is what it looks like now. Not great.

I also started a second canvas that morning, of basically the same view but changing the format to a vertical rectangle. After blocking in the values on the canvas I left it and finished it in the studio yesterday and today.

On day two, yesterday, I spent several hours driving and looking for possible painting locations and views on Lido Key and on the south end of Longboat Key (all part of Sarasota County, and closer to my home location) but did not really find anything inspirational. Everything was too manicured, or was a wall of trees/vegetation, or was just boring. I am spending today and day four working on several studio pieces that are in various stages of completion, works that I am much happier with.  I haven't given up, I am just taking a break, and saving my energy for painting at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on Monday. Based on the internet photos of the Gardens I am really hoping to find some views there that will be more fun too paint. Sunny days ahead, my friends.


  1. Hi Patricia, I wholeheartedly understand everything you're going through, and yet you are too hard on yourself. Your painting has movement and wonderful colour. As artists I know from personal experience that its not all plain sailing, sometimes you really have to fight for a painting. I know that given a choice I wouldn't have it any other way, I love this journey and savour every moment, sunny days indeed. xxx

  2. thanks Azra for your lovely and supportive comments!