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Thursday, May 6, 2010

100 plein air paintings in 100 days - #6

#6 - "Spring Thaw"
Original Oil 6x8"

10/04/15 (3:45 pm)
Today I had one of those plein air moments that make all the difficulties of painting outdoors insignificant. I spotted this little shore line breaking up and the vertical edge reflecting that bright value in the darker water, and was immediately captivated. I had just set up and was about 10 minutes into the painting when I looked up from mixing to see 5 elk strolling through the middle of my scene. The 3 in the photos below all stopped for a drink and a curious look at me and Lily before ambling away.

These guys didn't get painted visually into the painting, but they're definitely in there, wrapped up in the energy of it. This is what happens painting outdoors that can't occur when painting in the studio from a photo, the so cool experience of connecting with your subject while it is alive and unfolding before you. Awesome!


  1. Wow, what a fabulous experience! And a lovely painting. I love the warmth of the trees against the cool of the water. I would have jumped a foot in the air if I'd looked up and seen those guys in front of me. Lily must be pretty cool to not start barking, my dog would have tried to play with them..., elk being way more interesting than me and an easel.

  2. Liz,
    A perfect day and a perfect painting! Wow..what an incredibly beautiful painting!

  3. The quietude and majesty of the scene is arresting. The timelessness of nature is present. Thank you.

  4. Have I told you how completely envious I am of you living in an incredible part of the country and being surrounded by all of this? These photos are so beautiful. As is your painting. The rusts feel so organic particularly under the snow banks. That pristine bit of light aqua and the reflections of snow in the water are quite calming.

  5. Liz, Have spent the last hour going through your journey in plein air and enjoying every minute. This little painting is one of my favorites, love the light and the beautiful color of the water. But then I went further down the posts and found your incredible still life and portrait work!!! Bravo!