Sunday, February 7, 2010

Plein Airheads

I think I have now officially joined the 'Tuesday Plein Air' group, or plein airheads as I think they should be called.  I mean, you've got to be daft to go and sit in the boiling sun with a piddly umbrella trying its best to give you some shade, or, as we've been doing the past two weeks, sitting on top of the mountain (oh, alright, hill) with a good chance of being blown off!

My complete and total admiration goes out to people like Rob Ijbema and Rene Plein Air who actually go and sit in the SNOW and paint!  Bill Guffy in the USA tends to do that as well.  Daft, as I said.  But they do produce jolly good work.

Now I'm relatively new to this outside process and am still trying to find my way around bringing this vast panorama we call Table Mountain into a teeny weeny 14"x18" canvas.  For the past 2 weeks we've been on the top of Signal Hill which is part of the TM facade and the views overlooking the city, the mountain and the new Soccer Stadium are breathtaking.  

The first week was misty when we arrived so it was hurry, hurry, try and catch the mist before it burnt away. 


Then the following week I sat crunched under a short tree for shade and painted the right hand side of TM with the cable station sticking up at the top.  The 12 Apostles are on the right hand side with a lone pine tree that was in front of me on my little bit of mountain.

I was not that happy with the result, but the light was changing so had to stop.  I may try and do some more on it this coming Tuesday - I think the darks needs darkening.  But here is our wonderful - at least a bit of  it - Table Mountain.

I just want to add here that all the trees in Cape Town are bent.  The Southeaster, or Cape Doctor, keeps the air nice and clean, but the trees have trouble standing up to the wind.

28 comments:

Peggy Montano & Paintings said...

Liz, this is great! Keep up the Plein Air painting. I know I am not up to painting out in the snow.
My plein air painting has been done in the heat of our summers.

AutumnLeaves said...

Liz I love both of these paintings. You've definitely captured that mist and the softness they give the trees. The mountain is beautiful and I so love the brushstrokes you've used. I am constantly amazed at what all my blogger artist buddies can do! Though I've painted plein aire in the past, it isn't my favorite. And you all make it look so effortless!

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Liz, The mountain is a materpiece! If you can do that on your second plein air attempt, you are on your way to stardom!

All plein air does for me if make me appreciate my studio.

Megha Chhatbar said...

Lovely painting Liz! I liked both of them.

Color Pencil Drawing: Bunch of Roses

Prabal said...

Liz,
First of all I have heard the word piddly after a long time and it takes me back to my schooling days.
And second I liked the mountain. It is very good. And for me the trees look as if you stopped painting it midway. But thats my perception (bias) only.

Cathy Gatland said...

These are beautiful Liz - you're a natural for plein aire (oh I envy you that group of airheads!). Love the Table Mountain one - its been done so many times but you've brought something fresh and new, the colours are soft, varied and gorgeous.

Ramesh Jhawar said...

Well, I'm in awe of the plein air painters and now you are one of them!Keep it up Liz :)

Art with Liz said...

Thank you Peggy for the visit and comment - like you, I don't know that I'll be that keen in winter.


Gosh Sherry, I have such a long way to go - trying to figure out what to paint! But thank you so much for being such a wonderful blogger friend.

Art with Liz said...

My word Carol, that is so nice of you! I think that I've got a long way to go to get to your standard!


Thank you so much Megha!

Art with Liz said...

Hi Prabal, I remember my mother using the word piddly and it has such a lovely ring to it! Thank you for the comment on the tree on the mountain - I appreciate it as I wasn't that happy with it and you just reinforced it.


Thank you Cathy and when you're in Cape Town, let me know and come and join us!

Art with Liz said...

Hi Ramesh, I think I'm just a play-play plein air painter as I'm still picky about the weather and places they go to - but I will keep trying although it is not my first love.

Nancy Medina said...

Liz you are the best. Plein Airheads is such a perfect way to describe this peculiar artistic activity in which we all delve from time to time. Welcome to the club and don't forget your bug spray! BUT what I really want to say is your entry for the Dana Marie challenge blog is stunning - love the Pelican boat painting, your colors are so subtle.
xoxox

Barbara Pask said...

"Plein airheads" I like that, lol. I know it is great practice and occasionally I get out there but most of the time I am not pleased with my results. Looks like your results are sure worth your time and struggles. Good for you.

Arti said...

Plein air is a tough thing to do and congrats that you are brave enough to do it!It must be fun to paint in group, though...

Marie Theron said...

I can just imagine doing some plein air painting on our windy mountain tops! Your works has a very pleasing muted effect, they are both very successful, Liz! Thanks for visiting and for your genuine appreciation of the love West Coast!

Judybec said...

Ooooo beauties!!! especially love the last one -- you made me laugh out loud with the title of your post!!!!! sooooooo true! : )

Liana Yarckin said...

you are too funny! love your commentary on plein air painting, although i am envious and you are in cape town!!!! how wonderful. there is another artist i follow from cape town i believe. i found you because of your painting of the little girl and dog on Parker's art challenge blog. i didn't know i was going to find this kind of funny, too!

Art with Liz said...

Thank you so much Nancy. I really appreciate your comments.


Oh Barbara, I am sooo struggling with this plein air thing. I've been told that you don't get it right all of the time - well, some of the time would be nice!!

Art with Liz said...

Thank you Arti. Yes the group is not only encouraging, but also for safety as well.


Just another Cape Town 'breeze' Marie! We'll be doing plein air out your way in April!

Art with Liz said...

I'm glad you agree with the insanity of all this outside stuff Judy! And thank you.


Glad you found me Liana and I will be returning the favour! Would love to know who the other artist in CT is?? We are quite a small community so maybe I know her! And talk about sense of humour - isn't James just the best!

Marie Theron said...

Hi Liz, me again. Thank you for the visit! I am here to find the San painting you made. I live close to !Khwa ttu but must still do a story and some paintings, so I want to refer Nancy to your blog in the meantime!

Art with Liz said...

Hi there Marie - yes I saw Nancy's query about the San. The date of the post was Oct 26. I passed Ikhwa ttu on the way up to Velddrif - I think it would be worth a visit.

Dean H. said...

Very nice plein airs, Liz! I admire all who do them.
My get up and go has got up and gone. My compromised breathing won't let me enjoy the simple physical exertions of carrying a light load or walking a distance.

Hellenne said...

Hahaha, this was so funny! The image of you battling the elements. Yeah, I don't do too well outdoors. No A/C, no heat, bugs, etc. The mountain is beautiful. Keep it up!

Celeste Bergin said...

welcome to the dark side. There is no turning back. lol. Your outdoor paintings have the fresh look that we so love...I'll be watching for more!

Marian Fortunati said...

Wow, Liz... You are ambitious!! I can't say I've ever done a 14x18 en plein air.... My girlfriend has done 16x20 but she had to go back to the site several times (and hope for the same type of weather each time).


Your Table Mountain pieces is amazing!!! Yes... at times we plein air painters are daft, but sometimes we are the only ones in a true heaven of beauty. I see more places painting than I would any other way!! It's amazing!

rob ijbema said...

i like your table mountain liz it looks rough and ready and gives a good sense of scale

L.Holm said...

These are lovely and atmospheric, and I love the name of your group!!