The Wedding Rehearsal

I had the best afternoon!  I am at our house in the mountains.   The weather is beautiful. At 1 o’clock it was mostly sunny and in the mid 60s. As I sometimes do when I’m here on Friday’s I decided to take the afternoon off to paint.

I had lunch outside on the deck and then decided it was so nice I had to plein aire paint.  I decided to go to the Three Ridges overlook just up the road.  I drove up there, set up, and started painting.  Not too long after I got there a woman showed up and told me that they were about to have a wedding rehearsal there for a wedding tomorrow evening.  I asked if I was in the way and she said she wasn’t sure. I’m sure she was worried about how her clients would react.  We agreed that I’d move my car out of the way but not my easel since it was all set up for the scene I was painting. Obviously if the wedding party objected I would have to move.

The wedding party showed up shortly thereafter.  They were very friendly and seemed delighted that I was there. I think I added to the ambience of the experience. They watched me paint, took pictures of me painting.  The father of the bride took a picture over my shoulder of the bride posing behind my painting.  It was a lot of fun. They had their rehearsal.  Since I was painting outside I was trying to paint fast so I made pretty good progress while they were doing their walk through and taking photos.  They were all very complementary of my work, which was very nice. The father of the bride took my business card. I ask him to share some of the pictures they took.  Hopefully he will.

It clouded up and I was worried it would rain on me. After last weekend I know that’s a bad thing.  I’d also lost my light so I packed up and came home shortly after they left.  I’m going to have to finish it in studio from a photograph.  Here is a picture of the unfinished painting on location. The chairs were added for the rehearsal. They were not there when I started.
Plein Aire at the Overlook
The mountains and sky are pretty good. The light had changed from when I started. The sun had come around and the mountains in the foreground were much hazier than earlier in the day.  I still need to do the details in front.  Now I feel I need to make it special since it was part of a special occasion. I will share the finished product.

Plein Aire Painting

I mentioned in a previous post that I really like water soluble oils.  They have many of the same characteristics as regular oils. They dry slowly so you can blend the colors on the canvas. They have that nice sheen to them.  The main advantage they have over regular oils is that you don’t need harsh solutions like turpentine.  Today I learned they have a disadvantage that I hadn’t thought of.

Falls Church Arts has a plein aire show every year.  Entries must be painted outside on location and the scenes must come from inside the Falls Church City lines.  This presents me with several challenges.  First, I’m not a very practiced plein aire painter — I usually paint from photos.  Plein Aire is something I need to get better at because it will sharpen my skills in many ways.  Second, I’m mostly a landscape painter and Falls Church is pretty urban.

Last year I painted a scene from the front yard of a friend’s house.  It was a lovely scene.  The azaleas were in bloom. The painting wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t everything I wanted it to be, so I didn’t enter it.

Today I decided to sit out in the plaza in front of Mad Fox Brewing Company and paint the awnings, windows, and tables out front.  It is a lovely day with a mix of clouds and sun. I was a little intimidated by the people at first but most people didn’t pay much attention. Those who did were polite.  Kids were fascinated.   I relaxed and painted and the painting, which was challenging, started to slowly come together. Then it started to rain.  A disadvantage of water soluble oils is that they run in the rain (only when they are wet – once dry they are as permanent as regular oils). The painting can probably be repaired, but it’s going to take some time. I was going to post a picture, but it’s just too sad.   All is good though – I got to to spend the afternoon painting.