Monday, September 22, 2014

Going BIG!

24" x 36" Oil on Panel
It's not the biggest plein air landscape in the history of painting outdoors, but it's pretty big! It's twice as big as any plein air painting I've ever done before. It's also probably bigger than anything I've seen at plein air shows I've attended over the years.

I've been toying with the idea of doing some very large (for me) outdoor paintings for quite some time. Recently a gallery that sells my work called and told me they had a client interested in my work, but they wanted to see paintings much larger than what I usually do. That provided the impetus for me to actually go out and paint bigger.

About a week and a half ago I went to Heber valley, set up my easel along a country road, secured a two foot by three foot primed panel to the easel, and set to painting. The painting was started around ten or eleven in the morning, and finished around six or seven in the evening. During that time I forgot to take any breaks. I had some food and water with me, but I forgot to use any of it. I did have one break imposed upon me, though. A small cattle drive came down the road so I tossed all my painting gear into the car and waited for a couple minutes as the cattle were driven past my parked car. After they passed I immediately set everything back up and got right back to work.

It was the smallest cattle drive I've ever seen. I might have been OK if I had not taken refuge in my car, but I've been stuck in some much bigger cattle drives where I was glad to be secure in my car. Cattle want to avoid you, but in much larger cattle drives cattle in the back of the herd press forward, pushing those ahead of them. I've had cattle pushed into my car hard enough to rock the car. I think it would not do to try to paint in something like that.

On this particular day, though, the cattle passed without incident. A little later a car full of teenagers stopped to see what I was doing. They complimented me on the painting, and one of them said from the back seat, "Dude! Your painting's sick!" 

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