8"x10" oil on Belgian linen mounted on archival panel"Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots."
-Frank Howard Clark
Tuesday morning I went out in hopes of painting before the rains came. I was certainly lucky as I got just what I was after! Interesting cloud shapes and color filled the sky over the Wetlands Overlook at Waterford Beach. Looking out toward the Long Island Sound, I could see Ledge Light in the distance, where just the day before everything was enveloped in a very thick fog.
I had mentioned in a previous post about keeping your plein air gear light for travel. This is whether you're flying to a far destination, or just hiking in to your local park. It's all too easy to try stuffing 'just one more thing' into your bag/backpack. If you've got to carry that any distance, you'll be tired & regretting it before you even set up to paint. Over the years I've tried just about everything out there on the market until I finally came upon this combination. An 8x10 Open Box M easel/palette screws right onto a simple camera tripod (not a heavy one either, just a very basic one (got it for under $20 years ago). I have a little sack attached to the legs for laying rocks in for weight if it's a bit windy. If you're trying to paint in a gale, well, suffer the consequences...wind is just about the worst problem to deal with when painting outdoors. Keeping it simple is still the best idea. If you're determined to 'gut-it-out' in wind, you could detach the small box from the easel & hold it.
Other supplies that fit into this pack are an 8"x10" Raymar wet panel box, it holds 3 panels, but for most nearby outings I just take 2 panels. I bring 2 different palette knives, a couple bulldog clips to hold my trash bag onto the set-up, Kleenex, paper towels, a small container of wet-wipes/baby-wipes (yes they are GREAT for getting paint off your skin). In summer I bring a small bug-spray. I try to remember a water bottle, & a camera, but I've left home without them & it's been fine. For paints, I take a warm & cool of each primary, plus white. If you're working with a palette knife, you don't need any medium, solvents, and clean-up is so much simpler. The little rolling back-pack I found at Wal-Mart ($35 if I remember correctly), allowing you to roll it if you're in an area with sidewalks or hoist it up on your back if you have to hike into an area. This has been the most versatile set-up I've used over the years, and of course, may get tweaked over time as all things seem to. And of course, there's no "one WAY" to rig your set-up, what-ever works for YOU is the key thing! Hope it helps you if you're looking to lighten your load and get out to paint more often!
Labels: coastal New England, CT shoreline, foggy day, incoming rain, landscape, Lighthouse, oil painting, palette knife painting, Roxanne Steed Fine Art, storm front, wetlands