Monday, August 29, 2011

Plein Air Weekend - Day 1 - Friday

Since my plein aire "Short Trip" to Mt Rainier was postponed due to the weather, I decided to take advantage of the time I'd set aside for painting and visit some wonderful gardens in the area. Roses were my intended target but at these gardens there are other attractions that can be very tempting to paint too.
Friday July 29, 2011
Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden
Say Hello to Madeline! This adorable little artist painted along with me in Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden. Madeline will celebrate her seventh birthday August 5, 2011. I hope she gets some painting supplies for her birthday, she's got talent!!!

This is the spot in the garden where I painted with Madeline during the morning of July 29th.  I was having too much fun chatting with the people visiting the garden and didn't finish my sketch before the light moved changing all the shadows. At the right is the sketch I painted before the light shifted, as you can see it remains a work in progress. If I can't make it back to the garden soon I'll finish it in my studio from the photos I took or better yet, paint the rest from memory. The sketches in my sketchbook are basically my "notes" to remind me of the colors, textures, and mood I experienced while on location.

Friday afternoon I moved to a shady spot with a good view of the water fountain near the heart of the rose garden. The fragrance in this area was heavenly! On the right you can see the first stages of my sketch of the fountain with the purple clematis climbing on the trellis in the background.
As you can see the sun was brightly shinning and the cast shadows made my subject even more intriguing and challenging.

 My painting style includes a technique that is sometimes referred to as "alla prima."
Definition: ...with little or no other words, I don't draw my subject before I start painting. I like to say "I draw with my brush as I paint."
As shown in the second photo  I was able to add some of the roses and background to my sketch before I quit for the day. Again, the finishing touches will be added later. But I did get in most of the details on the fountain and I'm pleased with my little sketch.
These nice ladies were enjoying the garden and stopped for awhile to watch me paint and were kind enough to take my photo while I was painting.

Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden is located next to the community center  north of the airport
13735 24th Ave S, SeaTac, WA  See Map
If you speak to the nice staff when you visit  tell them "Susie sent you!"

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