I attended the Plein Air Magazine’s Plein Air Convention 2016 in Tuscon AZ from April 14-19. The following blog is about the third and fourth days.
The third day we had a paint-out on the grounds of the resort where the convention was held. I was painting with about 200 other people around me. Yikes! It was close and somewhat of a mad house. I managed to get a piece done but struggled with it.
My Plein Air set up at Catalina State Park
Catalina State Park Saguaro painting.
The fourth day we painted at Catalina State Park and I decided to go up a wash, being curious and it wanting to spread out. It was about 0.2 mile from the parking lot. I never saw anyone else for about 2 hours, although I did hear a couple people just over the little ridge I was under. After the first painting, Sue & Bob showed up, with Sue’s husband Jack assisting in schlepping stuff plus busy photographing away. The 3 of us painters got another painting done as the sun was setting. It was lovely! But we didn’t see anyone until we got to the beginning of the park and there were several hundred people all crammed near their cars in a big parking lot, painting or packing up. I just didn’t understand why they weren’t curious about the park and head out with their plein air gear to paint. And I never did see any faculty who were supposed to be making the rounds to help us. I even posted my little sign requesting a faculty stop. Maybe I’m just on the road less traveled?
Jack, Bob & Sue at Catalina State Park
Bob & Sue at Catalina State Park
This little oil has a lot in it. 9″ x 12″
I finished this Post Surgery Painting #3 and feel really good about it. I went to a bigger size canvas – 9″ x 12″ – because tiny was so limiting (see Post Surgery Painting #2). My subject matter was so busy that a small format would do it no justice. Even this size is too small, but I can always do a bigger one later on.
Again I worked on remembering all the info that I have learned about landscape paintings. I keep hearing all the tips and advice from artists who’s workshops I have taken. Especially Dave Santillanes! He had great advice for us when he was teaching us this past summer. I also keep hearing my friend, Sue McKelvy, and her great teaching and advice she’s given me over the years.
This painting is from a photo taken by Sue in Monument Valley. It was such a lovely vista that I wanted to paint it. The only thing that would have made it better was to be there in person with my easel all set up and ready to go.
I think this little painting turned out well. My shoulder and arm are not as sore as from #2 and I was able to keep on with my day. I’m getting ready for the Plein Air Convention 2016 in Tuscon and feel I’ll have the stamina to paint a bit each day. Until then…..!
Earlier this year I had a shoulder surgery to repair a torn biceps tendon as well as my rotator cuff. Ever since mid-January, I’ve been unable to do much in the studio. To be honest, I’ve been unable to do much of anything for a couple months after surgery. After recuperating and starting physical therapy, I’ve been able to do a lot more. I finally got into the studio this week and was able to do a little oil painting.
This is a monochromatic value study of Mt Lamborn, near my house.
For my first exercise back into things, I did a small value painting (also called monochromatic painting). I thought it was a good idea to revisit the things I’ve learned to get my muscle memory to come back. I can’t say it was easy because it was difficult to hold the brush and also hold my arm up for any length of time. I had a nerve block in my neck to help with pain control and one of the side effects is some nerve damage. Which can be overcome as the nerves are busy re-routing themselves. Every day I feel a bit more control is returning to my fingers and hand. My wrist still feels like I sprained it similar to when you slip and fall ice skating. My arm muscles are protesting and I know I still am not supposed to use them very much.
Next week I am going to the Plein Air Magazine’s Plein Air Convention in Tuscon with my artist friend, Susan McKelvy. I feel strong enough to participate in several days of plein air painting and workshops with some of the leading painters around. I am just not sure my skills are back up to par with where they were before my surgery. I’ll report back……