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Artist Residency at Whiterock Conservancy

The Painting That Everyone Does

But what kind of plein air painter would I be if I let gnats keep me from working?

2 years ago

The Painting That Everyone Does

2 years ago


Today on the farm, I was greeted by a new kind of fierce, biting gnat. But what kind of plein air painter would I be if I let gnats keep me from working?

I decided to do “the painting that everyone does”. Step out the backdoor and there it is: a hillside across the river with late afternoon sun and shadows. There is a trail up there where you have a great view up and down the river valley. From above, you see the dance barn and gardens, popular for weddings and events. Up on that hillside, honeymooners have spent their nights under the moon and stars. Everyone paints this view because it is enchanting.

 I moved all my tools to the picnic table including two favorite squirrel hair watercolor brushes and some pens. At first, since I was well covered with bug repellant, the gnats decided to drink my brush water instead. After they were hydrated, they had the energy to fly under the back of my t-shirt and provoke me. (Note to self about where to apply the spray….)

This painting is 11x15, a lot larger than most of my work. It’s sloppy fun to work like this, enjoying color and shapes, adding just enough detail to make it read well.

My time is going too fast! I have a lot of work in progress in the studio from photos and plans for more images of the dwellings on the land. Starting to get that prepping-for-finals feeling but don’t want to ruin the time with worry. Just be here now!


  • This is fabulous. The size is surprising and exciting

    jodi on

  • Thank goodness there are no finals to prep for. Hopefully this is just the beginning of many adventures and residencies to come. What a wonderful time for you. We are looking forward to stories .

    Kris on

  • So…how to bring that excitement and those ideas home with you!

    Sally on

  • I love the whole thing! I’m especially struck with the foreground: Tall, airy stands of grass; curling twigs, dark and fragile; the comforting solidity of the shrubby brush. Your work makes me see in new ways.

    Dorcey on

  • Love the looseness in this painting. Sympathize re the gnats!

    Jan on

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