'En Plein Air Painting' is just a fancy way of saying painting outdoors. I have done quite a bit of watercolour or quick pen & wash sketches outside over the years, but I've never really tried to do a finished painting, much less an acrylic painting, outdoors. Until a few weeks ago, that is, when I joined in the RHGA plein air event at the Mill Pond Park in Richmond Hill. We were given prepared boards to paint on, so I selected my usual 12" x 12" square and ventured out into the park to find my spot. I was on the lookout for a nice, big, interesting tree to paint. I had decided that since I was out of my comfort zone painting in acrylics outside, then I would at least find a familiar subject to paint. As I had just spent the last few months painting a couple of series of tree paintings, I thought that a tree would be a good subject to tackle. I found a lovely, huge, interesting looking tree & set up my folding beach chair, spread out my painting things on the ground & made a start. Somehow I managed to pull off a finished painting that I was really happy with and it has been part of the display hanging outside the Mill Pond Gallery for the past few weeks.
Spurred on by my new enthusiasm for painting outdoors, I decided to apply for the McMichael annual Plein Air competition. Since my painting style is no longer traditional, I did wonder if I had any chance of getting in, but since it was free to apply, I decided why not give it a go. So now I have received the news that I have indeed been accepted into the competition and I need to make plans to get myself over to the McMichael & complete some plein air paintings to enter.
Wish me luck!