I wanted to enter an upcoming juried exhibition. Stipulations of the exhibit include that it had to be inspired by a certain section of the Platte River in Denver, plus it had to be completed during a certain 10 days in August. I somehow got it in my head that much of this should be done “plein air” which means created at the actual location. Live. (*gasp*)
Now painting plein air is not my forte. I think I’ve only tried it once, and I didn’t enjoy it a single bit. Set up with this dilemma, but still wanting to enter the exhibit, I proceeded to talk myself into a frenzy with questions, questions, and more questions.
Where am I going to do it?
Do I have all the right supplies?
How am I going to carry them?
What time do I really have available?
I only have 3 afternoons in the 10 days that I could go down there.
What if it rains?
I can only go on a Saturday. What if it’s busy?
Is there gong to be anyplace to park?
What if there’s another artist where I want to work?
Is it really going to be 100 degrees that day?
Are people gong to watch me?
I can only use one canvas. What if I mess up?
And that was just the start. Nothing like setting up your own “worst case scenario”. After talking the whole situation down for over a week, I just decided to stop worrying. I jumped in and tried it.
And you know what?
The weather was warm, but lovely. No one else was even there. Parking was a breeze; had all the supplies I needed. Although I did much of it in the studio, I was so glad I did the start while actually there at the river. Photographs can so easily skew the perspective, and it’s just not the same. I’d like to try more plein air paintings, but complete the whole thing out there. (Ok, it’s only been done for 1000+ years, but for me , what a new concept!)
I learn things from every painting I do. Although this one may not be my favorite, I learned probably one of the most important lessons here: Don’t accept defeat before you even start.
”You have to pretend you’re 100% sure. You have to take action; you can’t hesitate or hedge your bets. Anything less will condemn your efforts to failure.” – Andrew Grove, Intel co-founder
Think you can, think you can’t; either way, you’ll be right.” — Henry Ford
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” — T. S. Eliot
Heat Relief (sold)
oil on canvas
(Click, and then click again for a closer look)