Well now that the weather is warmer, I finally got back outdoors with my paintbox. Here's one I did last weekend - it's on the South Branch of the Raritan River near Three Bridges, NJ:
It's funny, even though I've been painting in the studio all winter, I feel pretty rusty painting en plein air. In the studio, all your supplies are nicely laid out and organized (relatively speaking). Out in the field, you carry a pretty minimal paint kit, and setting up your spot to paint isn't always so simple. Here there was a rocky cliff to my right, and very little flat ground to stand on so I placed a big flat rock in the river, and painted with one foot on that rock, the other on solid ground. This was pretty near the spot where I setup:
Besides finding a more comfortable spot to stand, there's a certain rhythm of work you develop when painting outdoors: packing your supplies and not forgetting anything important, choosing your locations, setting up your easel and laying out supplies, working in the confined space of your portable paintbox, painting quickly since the light changes so fast, chatting with canoeists as they paddle by (one thought my painting was awesome!) and a myriad of other things that add to the challenge.
I'll be painting outdoors primarily now so it will all come back to me, but that painting on the South Branch might be the last one with bare trees for a while because it's greening up very quickly around here. With the April showers here this week it almost seems like you can watch the buds opening, things are turning green so fast. Spring has definitely arrived!