Partly Cloudy

By W.R. Jones

    I had a hell of a time with this piece.  It was cold and windy and the sun was bright.  I picked this meadow thinking it would be easy to paint.  After a series of failures I was looking for an ego pick-me-up.  Whoops.

    Too windy for an umbrella, I had to turn my easel 180 degrees from what I wanted to paint in order to keep the sun off the canvas and palette.  Then I couldn’t get the grass color right.  I resorted to holding a bunch of grass in my hand and comparing to the color on my palette knife. 

    First I compared them out in the sun, perfect; then I compared them in the shade of the easel, perfect.  Then I realised this was stupid, what I wanted was to have the look of grass in the sun on my canvas in the shade (i.e. as it might look inside a house, hopefully hanging on a wall, but more realistically at the bottom of a closet).  It really should be straight forward.  Put the paint on the canvas, compare to the grass in the meadow.  What can I say, it seemed to be beyond me.

    I painted for about 30 minutes in full sunlight, then came the clouds.  One hundred percent cloud cover, sheee….it.  Clearly, or cloudily I should say, it was going to be a gray day; start mixing again.  Another 30 minutes, not a cloud in the sky.  God was toying with me for that potty mouth I had been using for the last 5 paintings.

    A car pulled up to the edge of the meadow.  Two fat women with their two fat men got out.  They looked at me for a moment then one woman shouted, “We should use you for target practice!”  It gave me a warm feeling that they wanted me, a total stranger, to participate in their games.

    And me; the landscapes broke my spirit, I’m painting flowers now, in the safety of my room, like an old woman.


This entry was posted in Humor, Landscape, Painting, Plein Air. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Partly Cloudy

  1. lori says:

    Cold and windy? Where were you? Its 95 degrees in the shade here, sweat was dripping off me today! I like the painting, kind of reminds me of winter, it has a nice chilly feel to it. Is that some snow out there too?

    Our grass out here today (Florida) is bright bright green, (permanent green light straight out of the tube) its been raining every day. Dead grass down here is naples yellow or cad. orange light.

  2. Dianne Mize says:

    I’ve been worried about you in that aerobics class, then when I think I’ve got the perfect solution for you, here you go getting into trouble again, pret nigh gittin’ yourself shot while you’re trying to keep your muse from rusting out on you. What I figured about the aerobics class is that you need to get a skin-colored rubber suit and stuff it in the right places. Keep checking in the mirror until you get it right.

    Now about grasses and fat women and their men? I just don’t know what to do about that. Keep painting, though.

  3. Quite the adventures you are having. Good thing you didn’t voice your thoughts about the visitors’ weight or you might have had a close encounter with the gird kind.

  4. Painting outdoors is a bitch! I feel your pain!!!

  5. wrjones says:

    Lori – that painting was done in May at about 9000 feet near Taos. That was patches of snow on the ground. It always rains everyday in Florida; how else could you have so many mosquitoes?

    Dianne – it is nice to have someone worry. Those aerobics classes are killing me. Went to one last night after work. Shoulder, knee, and forearm now in pain. I like the rubber suit idea. I’ll have one made with bulk calves, biceps, and pecs. Maybe I should get one with a hood and add a small amount of hair – what do you think about blond?

    Diana – come paint with me. Bring money, all those fines I end up paying are a burden. If I said anything out loud about weight I would be politically correct and say something like, “Those calorie special people or a car load of average Americans.”

    David – feel free to keep my pain.

  6. Bill Sharp says:

    Except for the visitors, you’ve described many of my own plein air experiences. As if painting isn’t hard enough without the elements to deal with.

    I like the painting though, I guess that’s why we keep doing it.

    You’ve got a great eye for nice simple abstract compositions.

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