A Long, Cold Day

"Maurice Car'rie Barn" 9 x 12 Chalk Pastel on Paper
Original sold
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It was not the best day to set up a tent outside a winery to sell paintings. The cold was bearable at first, until the wind kicked up. My booth held steady in the wind (my tables, not so much). There were some great views from my spot, though, so I decided to make the most of it and work on some pastel paintings.

Painting plein air has become quite comforting to me now. I've learned to tune out most distractions and concentrate on what it is I'm painting, which is a difficult thing to do at first. I'm even learning to appreciate the conversations that happen as a result of painting in front of strangers. I had a particularly funny conversation with a young child (they always find me-- teacher radar I suppose) about painting.

He wanted to know if I was trying to copy something, and I said no, if I want to copy things I take photos. He wanted to know how long it takes to become a painter, and I explained that if you start learning as soon as you're interested, you'll get better and better each day you practice.

He gave me some feedback on my pricing as well. There was one particular piece he liked, but he was quite put off by the $60 price tag (he muttered that he would have preferred something more along the line of $5). My husband and I had a good giggle over that when I got home.

So, in addition to finishing two plein air paintings, I had some good conversation with people about my work. That's not something I get when painting at home, or even at busier venues. Despite needing several hours to recover from such a cold, windy day, I was quite satisfied with what I got out of the experience. Which, to me, is the most helpful way to look at things that don't go as planned-- especially where art is concerned.

Incidentally, the barn is actually white in real life. Unfortunately, I stepped on the last of my white chalk while rescuing a fallen table, and was only left with a few crumbs to highlight the barn. Another of those "keep calm and carry on" moments of plein air painting...

"Vineyard View" 4.5 x 6 in Chalk Pastel on Paper
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To see more of my local plein air works, click here


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