First I guess I have to start this one with a disclaimer: for those of you who don't already know this, I am not someone who is particularly good at painting directly from life, nor do I enjoy schlepping my supplies around, setting stuff up or taking stuff down. Oh boy, carrying things? Don't get me started on that. This is the girl who practiced constantly, striving to keep first or second chair all through her school-band years mainly because a piccolo case can (sort of) fit inside a Pee-Chee, not like those bulky old flute cases...why they're a ridiculously-giant 16" long and weigh, what, 2 pounds? Who wants to carry something like that to and from school every single day?
But I digress (and I haven't even started yet).
I just don't want anyone who accidentally stumbles upon this blog someday after Googling real Plein Air Art to think that I actually fancy myself the kind of artist who can do this and leave a yelling-at-me comment (really...please don't yell at me). The rest of you realize by now that I don't take myself (or anything else) that seriously and are probably wishing I'd stop rambling and get to my point. A-hah, you forgot...I never really have a point, and that this blog is all about the rambling.
All I really want to share with you is my favorite kind of workday. The kind when all the right details fall into place...I have to be at a certain point in a project (or projects) where the art is in a portable state, I have to be able to step away from the computer and phone for at least a few hours...meaning the businessy admin side of things needs to be wrapped-up, clients need to be taken care of for the day, and most important, this can only happen within a couple-month window because the outdoor conditions need to be just so (i.e. atypical Seattle weather).
Those things rarely all happen on the same day, but on those rare occasions when they do, it is time for Plein Air Illustrating.
My office-mates are the best company I could ask for although sometimes they sit on my feet.
Foot-sitting in the workplace is a faux-pas in most offices and for good reason, but here it's okay. Actually, having your bare foot sandwiched between cool summer grass and warm soft fur...that's what we call "snice".
I can, of course, hear the sounds of the city-neighborhood around me...but this time of year the constant background-music is birdsong (okay admittedly some of that is crowsong which most of you might not consider anything like songbird-birdsong, but I love it anyway) and during brief quiet moments all I hear is the breeze in the leaves above my head
and the funny little creaking of my adorably rusty windmill.
Birds hop around nearby because they know they are safe (beyond leash-length, that is).
Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees go about their busy days around us...they don't seem to mind that we're sharing their office space for the day.
This is what it's all about. This is my very favorite kind of workday, ever. I mean, how could it not be? Really, it's only technically work because there are clients and deadlines involved...but really this part is just recess. Not a bad way to celebrate Take Your Dog to Work Day. Okay, every day around here is that...but still.
And for those of you purists out there who still have your knickers in a twist about me, a commercial illustrator of all things, throwing around certain fine-art terminology...I'll pan out a bit from that very first scene I shared.
Maybe I do paint and draw directly from life, it just sifts through a few extra filters before it hits the page...