Monday, July 23, 2012

Painting on location is a Challenge!

the start

the finish

"Down Piedras Chinas"  9x12 ins.oil on panel 

Painting on location is indeed a Challenge!
We went up to Piedras Chinas again early this sunny morning. It was beautiful but it was cold standing in the shade and with the wind wafting up the calle. That was to be expected,  high in the mountains, even in the midst of summer and I can handle that. Maybe my blood has thinned over the time I've lived here but as I say "it's all part of the job" - when you're really excited and working hard you generate a certain amount of internal heat. People can be a problem .............. and bugs too. Often you roast in the sun in order to exploit that particular angle you just couldn't pass up.
But sometimes they can surprise you and what happened this fine morn was a bit exceptional. I had set up in the middle of the sidewalk in front of a very quiet residence - no sign of life. When I say the "middle" of the sidewalk it is to be understood that I was occupying the whole of the sidewalk as they're about  20 inches wide at this point on P. Chinas. The front walls of the houses begin at the edge of the sidewalk. I hadn't taken any great notice of  the overhanging balcony above. You can't envision every possible eventuality when you go "en plein air" - I hadn't packed an umbrella either ...... it was a fine sunny day. Well, I was pretty inspired by the scene, drawing accurately, working fast - just a cookin' along -  at the point where a little infusion of detail would maybe, with a little luck bring this adventure to a happy conclusion. I was a bit cold so I crossed the road to soak up some sunshine. It doesn't hurt to take a short break at this point, anyway. It allows you a fresh, critical look at what you've done before you do any final damage. We all congregated for a few minutes and whilst our bones warmed we noticed a gringa moving about in the upstairs portion of the casa in question. Suddenly she open the shutters and started liberally watering her thirsty balcony plantas. It didn't take long for that water to seep through the pots and caer to the calle below. In a word, it was a total wash out. The worst of the cascade fell right where I had been standing at the easel. All I could do was gather up my stuff before it got too soggy and move up to where the others were- safe on high ground. 
So, I cussed and shuffled around, generally making a nuisance of myself for quite a time. I finally settled down enough to do a little sketching of an all new subject but the spell definitely had been broken. I started a  painting of this new subject but everyone else was finishing up while I was only about a quarter into it, so we all packed up and headed back down town. 
However, I will work the "start" above to a finish and we'll see where it goes ................

Photo reference
It's kind of dark but should be of some help. Minutes after the photo was taken the site was rendered no-go.

No comments:

Post a Comment