Sunday, 2 January 2011

Plein air by the Loire...January

I wish you all a wonderful year with all the low points of last year turned into highlights this year!

Happy 2011

I wanted to start this new year off with a plein air painting, no matter what the weather circumstances were. And I did. I took off this morning with my painting stuff and a new pochade I haven't used before, to the Loire. The temperature read 2 degrees C. I only had running shoes to wear, because my daughter has my hiking boots in the mountains.

It was very difficult...it took me ages to set up my things, I kept on slipping in the mud, my fingers were numb before I even started painting and I struggled to open the caps and squeeze out the oils. I found the little pochade extremely uncomfortable and clumsy and missed my French easel all the time. I couldn't open the Liquin bottle and had to run back home to fetch another. I found it comlicated to paint with the muffins and the scarf was choking me and I felt thick and uncomfortable with my sleeves in the way of the paint, constantly knocking over the mediums. I chose a difficult scene and had an uncomfortable spot in the mud and slighty up a hill. My eyes and nose were constant watery from the cold and I had to fiddle with tissues all the time, resulting in me arriving home with a face looking like my painting. After 2 hours I couldn't stand on my numb feet any more and I started doing nonsense on the canvas, getting so frustrated that I slung my brush way into the distance, in the mud! And then I decided that I should pack it in.

BUT!! I completed the study. Although I don't like the painting/study, and although it was an enormous struggle, I am very satisfied that I did it. It is one of my plans for the new year - to get out and paint even if the circumstances are challenging - and I WANTED to start today, on January 1st. Now I only need to get out there often to get used to these difficult winter plein air painting. In the end it is really gratifying and I now know I can do it. I can probably save this study in my atelier if I want to but it serves no purpose. I didn't get out there today to produce a masterpiece, although I would've liked it to be a bit better than it turned out...

..winter loire corner study 1..

..oil on linen, 34x23cm..

Also posted on Africantapestry...

Until next time... paint away!

6 comments:

Laureline said...

Yay for you, Ronelle!!! I'm so proud of you for having stuck it out through difficult conditions! You tell your story in such a compelling way, too. I really like the study---it captures perfectly the wintry grays and umbers and the dominant verticals of your scene. Your story is very inspiring to me and I'm sure will inspire many others. Felicitations!

Laureline said...

Ronell, I'm so sorry I added an e to your name! I wonder how often I've done this: (. Right now, I'm suffering from a terrible head cold, so my brain is soggy and drippy and things like misspellings are bound to occur.
Oh, dear!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

You go girl! WOW! Well done Ronell!

I like it - the colours are very wintery and absolutely appropriate.

All the niggle about the way things work will sort themselves out

Now how many pairs of socks did you have on?

I'm trying to persuade Adebanji - winner of the 2010 Plein Air Painting Plus award - to do a complete analysis of his winter painting gear clothes wise. I'm convinced that getting the clothes and shoes right are a huge help in being able to paint comfortably

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Thank you!!
Laura, both versions of my name are used...they are both correct. It is a long story and complicated..LOL.

And I wore two pairs of thick socks, Katherine, But the running shoes are too lightweight for this kind of cold and wet...my feet were soaked, socks included.
Yes, it would be great to hear Adebanji's advice on winter painting gear!
Ronell xx

Jeanette said...

Lovely wintry scene Ronell and good for you to stick it out, though I did both feel for you and giggle at the thought of the brush being flung into the bushes in frustration. Been there...

Yes, dressing for the weather helps and sometimes, its just better to sit in the comfort of your car and paint the scene from there!

vivien said...

Top of the class and a gold star for getting out there!

I'm sure you'll be able to work on this a little more in the warmth, using the memories fixed from having worked plein air and complete this - I think it's a good start :>)

As the others said, you've captured a lot of the spirit and colour of the place already.

I have flung the painting into the bushes before now! sometimes improving it!

I'm determined to get out there more this year, including our local landscape.