Sunday, July 14, 2013

Joy at the Beach

Looking North, 10"x8", oil on canvas panel,
©2013 Cindy Greene

Each time I go out to paint plein air, I try to set a goal for myself. Something new to try, or a part of my painting that I feel needs attention. Last week I wanted to work on putting down intentional brush strokes and leaving them. The temptation to "noodle" the paint is great, especially when in an unfamiliar environment and you are trying to "get it right."

Above is the first painting I did that morning. The marine layer was pretty thick, but the blue sky was working hard to show itself high in the sky. I liked the white and grey clouds looking north toward Newport Beach, so chose to paint this with a vertical orientation to emphasize the sky. It was very subtle, but I'm pretty happy with the brushwork, as well as the colors of the rocks as the sun was trying to peek through.

The second painting of the day was posted yesterday, Little Corona Cove, and I think it's my favorite of the day. I am happy with the brushwork as well as the composition and colors. That doesn't happen often. I will probably use this study for a larger painting.

Little Corona Cove, 5"x7", oil on canvas panel, ©2013 Cindy Greene
This small wave study was fun. I had some time and some paint left on my palette. The beach was full of families and kids by that time, so I just looked straight out ahead of me and painted what was there.

Soft Waves, Small Rock 5x7", oil on canvas panel, ©2013 Cindy Greene

It's great to have painting buddies, especially when they are as fun and encouraging as mine. Jeanne, Debbie and I claimed our spot early in the middle of the beach, while Diane stayed up by the cliff.

Jeanne and Debbie lost in their painting
Diane's first day painting at the beach, and she did great!

Debbie's impromptu painting of the wedding at the tidepools
I mentioned before that a small wedding took place that morning by the tidepools. While it was fun to watch and share that fun, what happened after was even better. Debbie, who paints weddings regularly, grabbed a small panel and started sketching the wedding party before the rest of us knew what she was doing. She managed to get 80% of the painting finished before the wedding party packed up, and walked over to meet them and present them with the painting as a gift. (They weren't sure what she was selling at first!) They were stunned of course, and delighted. Debbie took their address, and promised to send them the painting when it was finished and dry. They had flown in from Colorado to be married at the beach, and really didn't need the burden of a wet painting in their luggage. We chatted briefly with the group, and they took off to celebrate. Meanwhile, we went back to our paintings and had such a lovely warm feeling of joy the rest of the day. Debbie's kindness was not really random, but such a part of her personality and love of giving to others. The rest of our little group received a gift that day as well as the bride and groom.

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