Turns out my friend, Donna, ADORES horses and lives on a ranch. Actually, there are a ton of people who love horses in central Florida. From Orlando up through Ocala, you'd think you were in Kentucky! So yesterday morning she invited the en plein air group to paint at her ranch.
The day was scudded with clouds but temps were nice hovering around 75. The problem was WIND. Now this was my first time to paint in that much wind.
Wind certainly challenges the outdoor painter in many ways. Some of them I didn't expect.
First off if you are going to use an umbrella for sun protection...forget it. Find yourself some shade and wear a hat that clamps to your head. No big wide brimmed hat today!!!
Next you have to find a way to secure a lightweight aluminum easel. (Or give up your easel and go with sketching.) What I did was to take my milk jug of water and tie it to the center of the easel, weighing it down. You can see it hanging down behind my palette. This worked slick. The third problem is keeping your canvas or paper or other support ON the easel from blowing off. You can see I used a bulldog clip in the right corner.
It is useful to stay painting small (this is 11 x 14 canvas board). I had thought about painting 16 x 20 and had primed a board with blue (see leaning behind my chair) but it was way too big and would have taken off like a sail.
You can also see my new rolling chair/pack that I got from Jerry's Artarama on sale last week. I like it, but I can see that I still have more planning to do...as I like to have my water close at hand. Luckily Donna had a nice place for me to put it, but I am thinking a small folding stool would be a good addition for times when nothing is available.
The 4th wind problem is how fast acrylics dry in the wind! Whew! Like immediately. Even with constant spraying with water and wetting agent...I had very little mixing time on my palette or on my painting. And I had to keep my brushes IN the water bucket so they couldn't dry out between use. A very challenging day. But I learned a lot!!! Thanks Donna.