Saturday, August 25, 2012

"Plein Air as inspiration for collage or even an abstract"

Today I'm filling in for Sue who was unable to join us at the Visitor Center at Explore Park off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We took a "break" from fields, mountains and lots of green today to focus on the historic buildings next to the visitor center.

Three of us chose the historic Brugh Tavern. (photo attached) I was drawn first by the beautiful neutral colors of the building as the siding was a neutral lilac and the shutters a wonderful neutral sage green. As I began to draw the tavern the spaces between the windows, roofs, door, benches, etc really began to capture all my attention.

I proceeded to do a detailed drawing with pencil and paper and discovered a wonderful rhythm as the amount of space between features was repeated. After finishing the drawing I copied it to the canvas.

And here is where I ran into "issues" as the color was not quite right and I mixed up some more and applied with a palette knife; it got muddy (instead of neutral). I wiped most of the paint off and stood back to see that the basic shapes were still there -- the very shapes that had really captured my attention in the drawing. (photo attached)

So even though I did not complete a plein air piece today, I came away with a drawing, color notes and lots of ideas on how to finish the work. I'm thinking about cutting out pieces of painted paper and creating a collage. I'm also thinking about highlighting the shapes and creating an abstract piece. Or I'm thinking about combining the two creating a mixed media work. The morning's activities led me into a very creative direction.

The moral of the morning..........even if you are not a realistic painter going out to work plein air can provide lots of inspiration to jump start your creativity to lead you in an unexpected art direction.

--- Judy

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