Working plein air - the hazards
I'm up to my eyes in work at the moment and so paintings are going slowly. I have to wrestle with a printer in a minute - it insists there is a paper jam - and there isn't. I want to print Sam's book.
As I'm not managing to get out to sketch I thought I'd write today about the downside to console myself.
- - the winter trip to sketch when the wind howled straight off the sea, usually we could shelter in the dunes and somewhere we'd be able to get out of the wind. Not that day. The top right hand sketch was done in a tiny 6inch square sketch book in oils. It was the only thing I could hold still enough - a larger book just kept flipping in the wind and my hand with it, every time I got the paintbrush near. It's about the only thing I managed that day for a long day out, 200 mile round trip and hypothermia.
- - a bitterly cold day with uninteresting light, working on one beach, moving to another to get some shelter, realising mobile phone was missing on first beach (and stupidly switched off - so no simple matter of ringing it on friends phone to find it :>( ) - returning to original beach as darkness fell, searching miles of identical looking dunes by torchlight until the battery went - friend realising she had now lost her handbag somewhere amongst the dunes whilst searching - walking a mile along the beach to the home of the warden of the nature reserve - him helping seach - finding handbag but not phone - arriving back home in the early hours of the morning (it's 100 miles away) and finding my phone in friends bag 8>O, she'd scooped it up by mistake - and no decent paintings to show for a long, cold, frustrating day.
- - driving away at the end of a day painting only to hear a clatter as we drove onto the main road - yes, the paintings I'd left on the roof as we loaded up - we did rescue them unharmed :>)
- -spectators - running commentary from behind when a family, with miles and miles of dunes on an empty beach to choose from, chose to sit just above us. 'Look she's using her fingers now' - 'what bit is she painting?' - 'she's using a knife now' - ' you could do that ....'
- -a bossy bossy grandmother directing every move of her grandchildren building a sandcastle - no artistic input from them, the poor kids were just the labourers! 'no, no we don't want that - fetch one of those.....' etc etc Until finally she spotted us sketching. 'Go and look what those ladies are painting' they were directed - no polite request - I'd taken such a dislike to her that I just looked her in the eye and deliberately shut my book! She moved off, still directing those poor kids every move :>(
- - sitting working wrapped up like Mrs Michelin in layers and layers of - ok not very smart painting clothes - in our little igloo tents for shelter and being asked by passing walkers if we'd 'been there all night'????? bag ladies????? tramps and hoboes?????
- - being told by another passing walker that they run classes at the local community centre if we wanted to learn to paint ....
- - trying to stop midges committing suicide and gaining immortality by landing in my wet oil painting
- carrying heavy bags of paints etc long distances along dry sand at the top of the beach - oh how I hate that dry sand for walking in, and the scrambling up the dunes - give me Cornwall where the tide comes in properly and sand is decently firm and there are rocks!