Sunday, June 24, 2007

another plein air experience....

I'd be interested in knowing if any of you can guess what this photo is of .... well, any of the photo's I'm posting for that matter.

As you know, I'm new to oil painting. I know very little about oil painting and as of yet purchased very few supplies for painting in oil . The palette I have is one that came in a small acrylic package I had from years ago. Its a small white plastic palette, approximately 9"x 6". The brushes I have are some odd brushes I thought may work ... some are from the same acrylic package as the palette. So, to continue with my story .... Last Tuesday was another Plein Air day with the new group I've been fortunate enough to join. I found a spot along a creek, that was running into Hood Canal. It has a small foot bridge and I thought I may be able to capture it in oil, but if not I had also brought my watercolors, some brushes and even a gallon jug of water. And just incase I couldn't finish my painting while out for the day, I brought my camera.

Well, although I wasn't able to finish my painting in oil, I did find I was pretty satisfied with getting the basic idea down on my

pre-primed, pre-gessoed cardboard canvas. When it was time to pack up and head home I placed these large clips (see first photo) in each corner of the painted canvas board. Then I set the painting down over the top of my palette, paint side up, in a cardboard shoe box lid. (I thought I was so smart to even think this far in advance when I packed it) This worked great because the clips kept the painting up off of the palette full of paint ... both set in the shoe box lid... for a safe journey home. Yeah right ! Remember me telling you I'd brought all my watercolor supplies... even a jug of water? Well, during my travels going home, the water jug fell over landed on top of the oil painting (still in the shoe box lid remember). The weight of the gallon of water bent the cardboard canvas down on top of my palette and rode there for the duration of the trip. When I arrived home some of the water had leaked out of the jug -even with a lid screwed on- there was oil paint all over the jug and the beginnings of my painting has paint smeared from the jug, the back of the cardboard - the first photo - had oil paint and water soaked into it, and most of my paint on my palette was now on the back of the canvas.

So, next time, I'll take some plastic wrap to cover my palette, and something else to place my painting in for a safe trip while traveling. As time goes by I hope to pick up a few more supplies for oil painting and won't have to worry about how to travel with my oils.

One of the women in the plein air group is always saying, "I wonder if I can salvage this painting". I asked myself this very question after this experience and I think I'm going to try.

More photo's to come as I work on this painting... maybe then you'll be able to tell just what it was that I was trying to capture on canvas.

Photo #1. Back of canvas covered with water and oil paint. #2 My palette NOW covered with plastic wrap ... after the damage. #3 My oil painting with smeared oil paint, and nothing that is recognizable.


  1. What a hysterical semi-tragic story! You're so brave to just go for it with the oils. I've been wanting to try some plein air oil painting but don't want anyone to see me fumbling and it seems like such a hassle dealing with the wet paint. I can't wait to go to the next post to find out what happened next.

  2. Me too, I want to laugh and gasp at the same time! I'll keep the laughing for later when it's all over and you laugh along...I'm waiting too to see what comes from all this? I simply cannot work plein air in oil, I'm far too messy and this will happen to me, just in a much worse way. Good luck!