Friday, May 6, 2011



at the Camp Hill Plein Air Event

on a perfect early spring day


Plein Air Oil on Linen

[ painted on a cloudy day]

I have been grousing about the weather this spring since we returned North in March. At first I know I was comparing my plein air outings here with those in Florida, which were rainfree, with beautiful skies and warm pleasant weather. But it is May now, and with temperatures below normal and endless rainy days and cloudy skies all March and April, my weekly plein air ventures have been most uncomfortable. My last straw occured this past Thursday, May 5th. I had arranged for a paintout at my neighbor's beautiful yard. The overnight rain had stopped and the sun was shining; and with clear blue skies, it looked like a perfect day for outdoor painting. Until you stepped outside. The wind was blustering and the temperature very cool. I stupidily chose a spot in the shade, thinking the sun might desert a warmer area and would start shinning down on me later in the morning. It never did.

The wind kept blowing. My hands got icy cold. I began to shiver--the kind of shivering that starts deep inside you and is hard to control. I put on gloves, trying to keep my arthritic hands warm. After three hours of this, I came to a momentous decision. As much as I love painting outdoors, I am, from now on, only attending paintouts in friendlier, more comfortable weather. Having turned 70 this past February, I am keenly aware of my physical limitations and of time rapidly slipping away. For that reason, I will not be "biting the bullet"for the sake of painting plein air. I will not spend another moment of my precious time on earth, being miserable while I am painting. I paint out only when there is no threat of rain and when the weather warms up, but not too hot. There are so many amazing benefits to painting up close, enjoying the feel and smells of your surroundings, seeing all the colors and values, the shapes and textures. But the comfort factor has now weighed heavily in my decision. And you can not beat the comforts of home.