Here in Blue River, Mike and I are living in our own 6 acres of paradise. We have spent some time being stewards of our land. I've pulled weeds, done some transplanting, mowed--Mike has worked on his raised beds, gotten out the weed-eater, and cleaning out the woods. Together, we reinvented a small portion of our backyard, removing plants that had taken over and sculpting a new rock feature where one can sit and ponder the pond.
I have never been a plein air painter, nor have I painted flowers or landscapes as a rule. But on March 31, 2020, looking at the unknown timeframe of an empty calendar, I decided to "paint my own backyard." Everyday for 30 years I have looked out my kitchen window at this captivating scene, and thought "Monet would paint this."
And so I finally put together a small tote of painting equipment and pledged to do a painting a day. Well, I didn't make it, but I did paint 28 paintings in the last 43 days.
It has been a period of freedom and learning. Am I great at landscapes or flowers? No, but I've gotten better. Almost every day I've picked up a brush and forged ahead. I really renewed my joy of painting with transparent watercolors. There is a difference between painting an idea (my usual mode) to just putting paint to paper and trying to communicate what you see and feel--loving watching the colors bleed into one another.
And really, I got better with time. Just the process of re-educating myself with the skills I began with and have put aside over the years. Some of the paintings have been improved by a trip to the studio. By lifting paint and using gouache paint on some, they have certainly gotten more pleasing to my eye.
An example of before and after the studio.
I hope not to bore you, but feel free to scroll down and see some of the paintings I have created over the last 43 days. All are my interpretation of places or flora around our property.
Do you have a favorite? What have you been doing to keep from going crazy?