We've had some glorious sunshine in Vancouver. The magnolias and cherry trees are blooming. While other folks are planning their gardens and packing their motorcycles for road trips, this time of year makes me think of painting outdoors!
My high school art teacher, Gregg Johnson, instilled an early love of outdoor painting. Since then, I've had my share of crouching under pine trees in a sudden downpour, witnessing firsthand the effects of Deet bug spray on watercolor washes (generally not a good thing), and have completed small paintings in less than 5 minutes because that was all the freezing cold I could stand. I've sat on the edge of a steep rock cut with a Boy Scout troop frenzied around me - "Oh you paint! I paint too! I like to paint motorcycles. Do you like to paint motorcycles?!!" Then with a blast of the leader's whistle, they were off, leaving me in the trees and silence.
Sketchbooks from trips years ago bring back powerful memories of the sun, breeze, food and interactions with people. When you slow down and really look at what is around you, you build much stronger connections and memories than is afforded by just snapping a picture.
I have a number of Plein Air painting classes and demos scheduled in May, June, and July. I'll also be doing some single afternoon guided excursions. An earlier blog post describes my basic plein air painting kit. Join me for a lovely day painting outdoors.
I hope to see you out with your painting kit this summer!