Plein Air Convention -Post #2

Home again home again

Now that we have returned from our extended trip to Arizona, we have acclimatized from the four hour time difference, we are recovering from that dratted cold virus, and I have caught up with all the web site work for the upcoming Studio Tour (phew!),  I can finally get back to my painting and blog posting.

We fell in love with Arizona.  I mean how could you not, especially Tuscon!  My husband and I stayed in this area for an additional four days after #PACE was over and did the tourist bit.  We really could have stayed in the area for a full week and never run out of wonderful places to visit.

Sunset over Tuscon

Dirty birds & things that sting

I learned about the many things that can sting, prick or bite you. Scorpions, snakes and jumping cactus!   I remember speaking with Gary one night on the phone and telling him about the jumping cactus.  I wasn't sure how concerned to really be.  BUT- there are no black flies or mosquitos in the desert!  And at almost every meal there was a welcoming committee of various birds that felt invited to the meal. I loved them.  The waiters did not.  Said they are dirty birds. 

Oh yes, I learned so much about painting as well.

Prickly pear cactus
Grackle and friend

Value before colour

This was pretty much a glorious week totally submerged in an art experience.  Jane Freeman and I attended a pre-workshop with Matt Smith. Now Matt has an interesting perspective on detail in painting and he has a term for it - "slave-ish detail" - and it didn't sound particularly good. I subscribe to it, I mean the slave-ish detail, I resemble that remark.  But here is the deal.  I am motivated by complexity and detail and it is perfectly fine for me when creating a studio piece. "Vive la differance'! There is no way I can achieve that in the field.  I am holding on to that. Ha Ha Ha....

Matt shared more information in that two day period than I ever could have imagined. He was very generous with his knowledge.  Most important - value before colour.  Sometimes I have forgotten this and it show in my plein air work. Next - there is no relationship between quality and quantity.  I have to remind myself of this as sometimes as I invest a rather large amount of time with a painting. 

After a few days of conference it was time to paint the dessert.  I see a painting in these painters!

And there were all those blooms.

More to follow soon.