Plein air season is FINALLY here in Wisconsin. Just a little over a week ago, we had 8 inches of snow, and there was frost last night, but the roads are clear at last, so I had a chance to get out and do a little plein air painting this morning with my new super-cool field easel. I modified my Guerilla Paint Box by attaching 4 D-rings to the lower edge, which allows me to strap it securely to the passenger seat of my motorcycle. It’s a tall bike, so it’s a perfect height for working. Just park, flip up the lid and paint!
As usual for the first excursion of the season, the painting itself is icky, so you don’t get to see a close-up! But, it’s okay. The point of sketching in the field, for me, is to force myself to be fully present and take in the scene with an artist’s eye and heart. When I look at my crappy little field sketches later, the whole experience comes flooding back—how the light fell, the colors, the feel of the warm sun and cool wind on my face, how I was feeling that day—and that is what goes into a good studio painting, not getting the placement of every little shrub just right.