Thursday, July 17, 2008
Emma Prusch Farm
Today's plein air painting went smoother than last week's (which was canceled due to a pot farm raid!). Emma Prusch Farm is a great place to go painting. The farm house is interesting, there are farm machines, loads of different plants and trees, a rose garden and lots of chickens running around. The weather was perfect - sunny, but with a cool breeze. Normally I do a pen drawing and then add paint, but this week I decided to be brave and launched straight into painting without thinking about it at all. My paintings turned out better than I thought they would! The one of the house I started by imagining the roof line of the house on my paper, then painted the sky around it, then I put the background foliage at the sides. Amazingly, the house (which was just an empty space at this point) turned out fairly well proportioned. 'Twas a miracle! I think the secret was letting the brush do the work and not thinking consciously about it. The muse took over!
On the right side of the house was an enormous prickly pear cactus, which I was tempted to paint, but right in front of it was the much smaller, but more fascinating plant which I sketched above. I think this is a Castor Bean plant (seeds of which are very poisonous). It had gorgeous purple/green leaves and these odd spiky purple seed pods - very alien looking!
Lastly, of course, I had to sketch the chickens. They were strutting all around the place and one kept trying to peck at my paints so that I had to shoo it away. I was fairly pleased with these quick gesture paintings and I was planning on doing a lot more chicken poses - but a darling little boy came along and chased them away. Bless him!!