Saturday, November 01, 2008
I set out today to do some plein aire work. I find working outside incredibly hard. The whole thing of carrying pastels, paper, board, easel out and then trying to find something that inspires me is so stressful! I set up in one spot, I liked the light in the leaves, falling on the bank to the right of the picture, and also the added benefit of being able to put myself in a position where no-one could come up behind me to watch. Almost immediately I decided that I was not inspired so I packed everything up and moved to a new spot. The light was lovely, falling on the ground and making wonderful mix of dappled colours from pale apricots to acid greens in the light and deep purples in the shadows. The sun on the bark of the eucalyptus trees was silver and bright against the dark background. Almost a perfect set-up - the resulting picture was horrible. I could feel my blood pressure rising within minutes of putting pastel to paper. I can't decide what it is that I find so stressful - whether its the feeling that time is limited and that the light is going to change quickly, or wondering if someone is going to come up and speak to me. I just don't know - maybe I am just not a plein aire artist.
The day was not a total deadloss though. A friend and I had arranged to swop lenses and I had some time to play with his macro lens. A real challenge taking photos with it as the focal length is incredibly short and even though it seemed like there was no wind at all, just the slightest movement made the object that I was photographing go out of focus. A dragonfly very cooperatively posed for me and I was able to take a number of photos of it from different angles. Best photo of the day was the fan palm which had lovely mix of lights on it.