Let the plein air season begin!!

The sun was shining!  There were no clouds in the sky, and then wispy ones appeared toward midday!  It was that perfect combination of sun and warmth, without the intensity of summer heat or sunburns.  Let the plein air season begin!

I was at the Stroud Preserve in West Chester, Pennsylvania, trying out my lovely Strada easel.  I think I'm in love!  Please note the blue paint that meandered on it's own while the easel was in the car.  But other than that, the paint stayed off the lid thanks to a series of velcro dots that are under the palette.  

My Thinker and my Happy Cricket picked out the spot.  It was perfect for painting, picnicking and soccer!

 Here was the scene.  A lovely array of baby leaves on the trees and brilliant spring grass dotted with flowers.

I began well, but quickly realized the light was shifting faster than I could get the paint down. I have a lot of pauses while I try to decide what to do first, where to start with the painting, etc.  Another problem was I forgot my smaller brushes, so I had to simplify the trees quite a bit.  This ended up being a good thing though as I was forced to get the character of the place and the colors rather than an exact likeness.  I like that I stayed loose with the paint though, and managed to alter my brush strokes as much as I did. It was a great lesson in capturing the feel of the place!  And of course, if you will note the smudged knee-mark on the lower right hand corner of the canvas; my Cricket knelt on it while she was picking up her picnic. 

All in all a good experience on a wonderful day outdoors!