Mobile Art Rig

Now that I’ve gotten the taste for plein air painting, I’m starting to refine my technique for going on the adventures themselves. The first time I went out, two weekends ago, I had to stuff my entire pochade box into my backpack– it worked, but it wasn’t elegant, and it made biking a bit uncomfortable as the whole thing was knobby.

This past weekend I went out on Saturday, and I got a little smarter about it. I borrowed my roommate’s fancier bike side-bag– one of those lovely clip-on types. The entire pochade box fits in, which means I don’t have to bring a backpack at all– much more pleasant biking!

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This was in Tenny Park in Madison. I hunkered down in the dwindling shade to paint a neat stone bridge. The painting itself wasn’t a particularly amazing result, but every time I go out, I feel like I learn something. And if that’s not fantastic, I don’t know what is.

Do I plan on going back out next weekend? Why yes, yes I do. 🙂

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Homework? For Fun!?

Since coming back from vacation in Germany, it’s become clear to me that my life needs to include a lot more art. And, most importantly, I have a loooooot more to learn. Making art is amazing, and the fact that I’m only scratching the surface of what there is to know about it is mindbogglingly exciting! How sad would it be if I were already bored…

So I’ve decided to get serious about making sure I keep learning about art in my day-to-day life. For me, that means homework. 😉 But homework that’s fun! Homework that I’m doing voluntarily, and that I’m designing for myself.

The lesson plan is very much a work in progress, but this week I’ve been focusing on value studies– something I often struggle with as my drawings or paintings become more complex. But solid values, planned out in advance, make a piece that much stronger. (And values that are weak, suck the life right out of it). So I’m practicing!

Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been up to:

Learning (and re-learning, and keeping ideas and concepts and techniques I already know fresh) takes time. And energy. And it doesn’t always look very pretty.

But boy, is it refreshing to be back in the saddle. 🙂