Sunday, May 9, 2010

Plein Air Painting at the Farmer's Market This Morning

My single artistic goal for this year is to become a better painter. To do whatever it takes to make a gigantic leap forward. I've thought about this a ton and made lists of what steps I can take to make this leap happen.

What I know is that the glorious achievements happen when you're most alive and motivated -- painting what you're absolutely dying to paint. Something else I know is that I'm most alive when my subject is right there in front of me -- changing and moving, challenging me constantly. So, I decided that this year I was bringing my easel and sketchbook out of the studio -- to paint those things (and people) I love to paint -- live.

This is a bit scary. I want to paint all over town ... in DC, in Reston, in Great Falls, Herndon, Alexandria, Bethesda. I want to paint inside restaurants. Around cafes. You know I love market scenes. So, I'm going to markets to paint there. It's a lot more about planning, getting okays and lugging what I need around. But, I know it will be well worth the effort.

I'm taking baby steps. On Wednesday, I painted on my patio -- testing out my EasyL (portable easel -- it's great, by the way) and figuring out what I need to take this "show on the road." (I'll post a photo of my patio painting sometime soon.) On Thursday, I went to Lake Anne in Reston to sketch ... ending up with three. And today, I started the day at my easel at the Great Falls Farmer's Market (Great Falls, VA).

I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a challenge ... really windy, lots of people to talk to, and my "models" never stood still. One young girl chose to hang out with me while her mother shopped. Wrapped up in my painting is the whole experience of standing there at my easel as part of the market scene.  That's cool. Plus,  I'm proud of myself for taking these first steps toward my goal.

I'll try it again next week.

"Farmer's Market", oil on Raymar panel, copyright Jill Banks 2010. (I'm not sure what size it is.)

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