Today the sun rose and the sky was clear. There were no more excuses so I set off to my favorite stomping grounds, Bill's collection of tractors. I have to admit it was a rocky start. My studio is about a twelve minute drive from my home. I went there, gathered my supplies and headed off forgetting several tubes of important colors.
When setting up, I almost used the missing colors as an excuse to escape back to my studio but told myself to hang in there. I definitely felt awkward in the beginning. One rule about painting "plein air" is that the canvas and palette need to be in shade so the colors remain rich when mixing. Before painting at the academy, I would turn my easel any which way to claim that shade, sometimes painting by looking at subjects over my shoulder. Now, with three semesters of painting looking straight on, I could no longer paint the old way. Time to buy an umbrella.
Once I accepted I had to paint in light and I was missing red, the rest of the day was great. I was reminded that "yes" I am a plein air painter! When I am out I get to see and experience so many amazing moments. Today it was the thousands of singing Starlings that were adorning the sparse winter branches. They would sing so loud and then there would be silence. I finally stopped to watch them and discovered the silent periods were them flying into the blue sky in a huge synchronized black clouds, then swooping over the fields to return to the bare trees to sing again.