Red globe radishes bring me such delight. Fresh from the Pennypack Farm & Education Center where I pick up my CSA (community supported agriculture), this bunch did not last long in my house even though I am the only one who eats them.
This power food is so heathy to eat that there is a Chinese proverb that says, "Eating pungent radish and drinking hot tea, let the starved doctors bend on their knees." No offense to my doctor friends.
I remember when I was growing up and my brothers and I would go boogie boarding at the beach. Most of the time our cousins were with us too. One time, my Uncle Mike rescued me as I began to float out to sea in a strong undertow.
Today, no rescue was necessary. My kids had a great time and as a parent it was so sweet to see them do something together with such harmony. (Trust me, it doesn't always happen that way. )
In the hour that I had to complete this painting, I challenged myself. I only spent about 5 minutes on the preliminary drawing. The focus is painterly, with minimal attention to architecture.
This approach allowed me to capture the light of the moment. (And get home in time before my kids got off the school bus.)
I still, however, also like working with a more finished drawing. Some subjects suit themselves for it. For example, last Saturday, I spent 5 hours on a painting that was the same exact size and won an Honorable Mention Award at the Chestnut Hill Plein Air Competition. (Yay!)
I suppose it all will depend on how much time my life gives me that day...
To practice for my first plein air festival this Saturday in Chestnut Hill, I went out with all of my gear to see if I could paint a 16 x 12 inch painting in one day.
What happens at a plein air festival, you ask? Essentially, a few dozen artists will all paint outside at the same time and a judge will award prizes to the best work produced.
We will have about 4-5 hours before judging. This sounds like plenty of time, but this painting took me three refills of my parking meter (in all 6 hours) to complete...and I still got a ticket*!!!
Lessons learned: paint smaller (or faster) and park in a lot!
*Note: Chestnut Hill parking enforcement personnel have a superhuman ability to write tickets the very second your meter expires.
My next door neighbor in back in Mt. Airy had some peonies by her front step. I relished watching the incremental progress these plants made each day while I walked past them on my way to teaching high school English. I knew that by the time these flowers bloomed, the school year would be cruising toward the finish line.
Ant Peony I is the first in a series, inspired by my own peonies in my front yard. I hope I'm not alone in this, but I find it so entertaining to watch insects and plants symbiotically interacting.
I also finally pulled out my large sheets of 300 lb watercolor paper. This painting is pretty large, 24 x 18 inches and I submitted it to a regional juried exhibition...I hope it gets in!