the joys of plein air - or not!

Katherine mentioned in her response to the previous thread that we remember the uncomfortable plein air paintings/sketches - and it's very true.

Burned into my memory is the day Sue and I went to the coast - the wind was icy, we were frozen (we always spend a looooong day painting on the beaches) and we hadn't done any work we were really happy with - we'd normally have several. We'd tried 2 different beaches. No shelter at all to be had as the wind was straight off the sea.

At one point Sue realised she'd left her handbag in the public toilets 5 minutes walk away - half an hour earlier. She ran back and it was still there :)

When it came to packing up time my mobile phone was missing - it was switched off so it wasn't as simple as ringing it to find out where it was :(. It couldn't be found so we returned to the other beach and searched the dunes - you just try to remember just which precise dip you'd sheltered in on a long stretch of identical dips! By now it was dark and the torch ran out. We are at a bird reserve in the middle of nowhere except for the wardens house a mile along.

Sue realises her handbag is now missing .... again. At some point whilst scrambling about she's put it down. I need 'smilies' of rolling eyes or crying at this point.

So ... we trekked to the wardens house, keeping to the beach where the tide is now coming in - and the last half mile or so is fenced so we are in and out of icy water in the dark. Then up through the dunes to the house - falling down sudden dips that we couldn't see ... I had visions of broken ankles to complete a wonderful day :(

The warden was an angel who came with a couple of big torches and helped search for Sue's bag - which was eventually found. I didn't care at ALL about my phone by now as it's very very late and we've got 100 miles to get home and work the next day. I just wanted to get home and into a warm bed.

We take it in turns to drive and it was my turn, so I dropped Sue off at her house and asked her to just check her bags again - and THERE IS MY PHONE she'd scooped it up by mistake with her stuff!

The picture above is the only one I got out of a long cold day -6am leaving and 1am home, 200 mile round trip, lots of angst and hypothermia! It's 6 inches square.

But ... we went again a couple of days later! a bit like getting back on a bike after you fall off I think - it had to be done! (and both did some things we were really happy with luckily, nicer weather - great day :)) Mobile phone was switched ON.


Robyn said…
What a nightmare! I sat here reading it like a thriller, and ever so grateful not to be out on a freezing, windswept beach at night. But look what you got out of it! It might only be 6 inches square but it's a gem. Maybe freezing heightens your senses ;) The 'cold' view of the packhorse bridge is lovely too.
Kate said…
It is amazing how the details a day where things go missing & a good painting spot can't be found are remembered so clearly.
Thankfully,you were able to go back soon after and turn it into a good experience. I like the painting you did on that day... the sea looks tumultuous. The colours of the beach are lovely.
vivien said…
it was a nightmare! horrible at the time though funny to look back on and certainly unforgettable!
jafabrit said…
what a story!!!!! the product of your suffering is glorious though.
vivien said…
thanks Jafa :)
Karen Winters said…
A beautiful plein air work!

dinahmow said…
I had a good look at this picture before reading and I like it.
But, really, should you gals be allowed out unchaperoned!
A happy outcome,so we can look forward to more adventures!
vivien said…
:) It's funny you should ask if we are safe let out unchaperoned ....................

it's more or less what our local blunt speaking gallery owner asked me once when I arrived rushed and flustered and dropping things! 'are you safe let out alone?' was the phrase (he's lovely though really :) )

thanks Dinah and Karen :)

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