Plein Airpril Week 2 Report

Week 2 did not go so well as I only did three sketches.

The Sketches

April 8

This was eclipse day! In Boston we had 93%, and I was shocked that 7% of normal sunlight is still so much. Still, we got some interesting silvery light and odd, sharp, cool-grey shadows. I tried to pay tribute to this in the shadow of this scilla flower, but it’s subtle. This was about an hour after the peak of the eclipse, so it was pretty much (but not quite) over.

April 9

I wanted to do a sunset sketch after some fantastic sunsets but ended up choosing a cloudless day. Still, the oranges reflected in the water were neat. Painting in the dark isn’t easy!

April 10

I always love when magnolias bloom, they’re one of my favorite flowers. The greenish bit on the side there is not a leaf (which aren’t out yet) but an unopened bud.

Going forward…

The combined effects of preparing for a big move and a family emergency which has me traveling again this week mean that I think I have to call it on Plein Airpril. It’s just not something I can commit to remembering to do each day. I will keep my watercolor kit with me and sketch when I am able to, but not for a challenge. As much as watercolor can be a destresser for me, I am looking for any way to cut stress and the attempt to follow rules, push my boundaries, or keep up a streak is just too much.

I recently read The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food by Joseph Tychonievich and Liz Anna Kozik, a cute graphic introduction to vegetable gardening, and my favorite panel was one where the wise gardening mentor advises, “Start small. If you are having fun, make it bigger. If it feels like work, make it smaller.” While he is talking about gardening, this advice applies to every hobby and I find myself thinking about it frequently as I make decisions about where to take my art practice and which materials or activities to keep, expand, or cut back. Since this has reached the point of feeling like work, it is time to make smaller, at least for now.