Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Painting in the Rain

It happens often enough.  THEY forecast a decent day.  We arrive on site.  We sit sipping the moca and watching that cloud cover move toward us then to surround us, providing fleeting moments of interesting colours.  Then the drizzle starts.  It progresses to showers, then to a deluge.  Go home you say.  Ney ney!  Why lose an opportunity to experience a side of nature and increase your understanding and your ability to see?

Downpour on the Farm

Here you can see the saturated colours in the rain.  No sun to bleach them out.  This was a recent storm.  The rain was heavy.  It was not predicted.  No plans for painting umbrellas.  So, how to improvise?  Local structure was available in the form of a farm building porch.  That will work, even in significant wind.  In the past we have painted from under bridges.  And from under trees - not the best in lightening.

Drizzle Day in LaCloche

This was an all day affair on the north side of Killarney Park.  On again, off again, drizzle all round.  Saturated colours and not much wind.  Warmer sky grey here.  We had rain gear jackets and a trusty cap.  Our French easels were perfect even in the open.  They can easily be adjusted to tilt the canvas top back over the palette so little moisture gets on either.  Here is Bobby doing his rain dance.

Bob Ross Oiling in the Rain

When the scene looks like this you have to develop a strategy to get a painting.  You will always learn something.

Dark and Gloomy in LaCloche

Under the Pine

It is amazing how dry and cozy it is under the right tree.  Two of us huddled here painting back to back.  Perfect study.  Try a week of rain in LaCloche to get the feel of rain painting.  Three of us managed 47 paintings.

So, in this weeks version of the flood, one of us focused on a pattern in the water under an evergreen.  Beauty abstract.  Short picture box eliminates the atmosphere if that's what you want.

Farm Pond Dream

Waiting is another approach.  Done properly it is like a skilled boxer waiting for an opening.  Conquering the old bull young bull syndrome.

While it is good fun and learning to get out in the elements you need not challenge Mother Nature.  If she is sending lightening, mud slides, floods, blizzards (well, maybe these are OK) just call it a day and have an art gab at the coffee shop.


  1. am slowly starting to see a faint trace of my style, the way I approach a theme and execute it. But at this stage it is like a barely there whisper and I am looking forward to discovering more of it and to see how your style develops:-)

  2. Hi Ropa,
    Just relax, your style will emerge. Concentrate on the fundamentals (shapes, values, colours, edges, and paint quality) and keep on painting with specific concepts in mind. The rest will happen. Best....