Monday, April 15, 2013

Ollie's Pond

Diane Mannion, Ollie's Pond, 8x10" o/c, 90% plein air

Plein air painting with a group is a great time to catch up with old friends and make new ones.  The Punta Gorda Visual Arts  Center plein air group met in Port Charlotte at Ollie's Pond this morning.  Artists usually work alone, painting isn't exactly a group sport... but I always feel better out there if some other artists are around.  A few go off and paint by themselves, while some stick together in groups.  
Unfortunately, the best view was a mess, an ugly glaze of slimy yellow-green algae covered the entire surface of the pond.  Ducks looked like they were sitting on a green parking lot.  There were no reflections at all, not much fun to paint a pond without them.  No blue sky mirrored on the surface, no sunlit sparkles, just pure flat, yellow-green scum.  So I opted for the path, instead and painted an artist looking out at the pond searching for a good view.

This is 90% plein air because I added the figure later back in the studio from an iPhone snapshot.  Here's the thumbnail I sketched before starting the painting to help me visualize where the darks and lights would be and how the composition might work:
So even though the pond was ugly the morning wasn't a total disaster.  Clare Harvey and I talked about how it doesn't matter where you are, if you look around... there's always something to paint! 

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