Come On In! 20x20 acrylic on canvas. On a chilly October morning one can feel the warmth of the sun's rays radiating from the ancient stone walls of the historic Code's Mill Building in downtown Perth, ON. In the painting you can find the Big Ben Memorial Statue standing tall across the road in Stewart Park.
The painting began on this year's final outing of the Manotick Art Association's Plein Air Group. I set up my easel across Herriott Street, facing the Code Building with the sun warming my back; drawn there by a compelling vision of the warm respite offered through the inviting doors of the Fiddleheads Restaurant.
The rest of the MAA artists were spread out in Stewart Park painting other subjects. At noon we stopped by the Big Ben Memorial to admire each other's work of the day before proceeding to the comforts of lunch within.
Hopefully we will all be back next year.
Some of the plein air painting sketches I did on field trips with members of the Manotick Art Association this past summer will be on display at my booth at Expressions of Art 2017 in Carp this weekend. Each Thursday morning, starting in June, we would travel to preselected spots in the Ottawa area to paint the outdoors. There is always a nice mixture of seasoned professionals and biginners. Our final trip for this year was to Perth, ON last week.
Plein air painting is a great way for artists to learn to see colour and to practice organizing shapes into a meaningful composition. Artists new to painting outdoors can learn first hand from watching the way seasonned artists effeciently pack and layout their equipment and how they set up quickly to catch light effects before the sunlight and shadows shift around.
Not all plein air attempts are successful. Many artists, like me, take their work back to their studios to adjust it under studio lighting conditions. What we are trying to accomplish is to capture a record of the day, and our impression of the moment, in our own style. It's never easy - but oh, so satisfying when successful.
The Art of Charles Spratt