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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Art in the (not so very) wild!

Do you know what’s great? The outside. Know what’s even better? Doing art in it.

Plein air painting is new to me, but I’m just behind the curve ball by several hundred (thousand??) years– it’s a well honed and time honored tradition among artists. Take your fancy art box, take your paints, and go sit somewhere for a while. Preferably while putting the paints onto a surface of some sort and calling it a painting at the end of the day.

It’s something tremendously pleasing and exciting… and also something I need to practice a lot more before it becomes a proper skill. Good news: practicing means going outside on adventures and making art!

This past weekend I took my fancy pochade box and my tripod and a set of acrylics and I headed out by bike to the local botanical gardens to plunk down and get some real-life practice in painting. I didn’t take a huge number of pictures, but here’s my basic set up– I already know a few things I’ll tweak next go around.

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And here’s a slightly better (if over-exposed) picture of the painting itself.

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I learned a ton from my first foray, and I’m deeply excited to head out again. I’ve got Sunday of this coming weekend earmarked for my second plein air painting adventure….

Stay tuned!