Plein Air (finally)

fronthouseSaturday was the Three Rivers Artist Guild‘s Art on the Lawn, in conjuction with the The McLoughlin Memorial Association. While attendance was not what I hoped, it was a beautiful day and I FINALLY got to do some plein air painting.

The event was held at The William L. Holmes House at Rose Farm. While a large house for the period (1847), by today’s standards it seems tiny.

The MMA saves money by not watering during the summer, so a few artistic liberties are pretty inevitable, but the porches and balustrades are charming.

Architecture is not my favorite subject, but I gave it my best shot, starting with the small historic home in back of the property and moving forward and around as the day went on. I experimented with gouche (rhymes with squash.) As always, the paintings are too light (I find it hard to get correct values in my on-site work.) These paintings either need another layer of color and value adjustment or they should be considered color studies for a studio session.

My friend Sandra Pearce from the Watercolor Society of Oregon drove across town to come paint for the day as well. Her paintings give you a better idea of the charms of the site.

As the day closed up, Sandra mentioned that she would like to paint the view from the Oregon City Arch bridge but she didn’t know where to park to do it. I told her I’d be happy to get her close if I could tag along and do some painting as well. So off we went…

At 6:30 I had to pack up for the day, but Sandra was still going strong. I did two additional paintings that I am liking much better than my Holmes House ones.

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My first painting. I used transparent watercolors here. A good color study for a second start.

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I experimented with a sunset scene, using my memory. I also focused more on the falls. I like this as well, but I didn’t get enough interest in the sky and the water needs more darks.

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