Friday, January 18, 2013

30 in 30 Challenge: Day 17

Note: This post has been edited to reflect changes made overnight. See addendum at end!

This is a photo. Only a photo. Any resemblance to one of my paintings is not intentional. Well perhaps one day...
I went to Short Sands Beach today to paint.  I had originally intended to go to Hug Point but realized the tides would be better for Hug Point tomorrow. Short Sands Beach, or Shorty, is less than a ten minute drive up the road from my door. There is about a quarter of a mile hike from the highway to the beach. The hike takes you through huge trees and streams. The beach opens out to great beauty. Yes, I took pictures and made video. Unfortunately there was just enough water haze and sunshine in the air that the pictures did not come out, at all. For that matter, neither did my painting.

It has been one of those days.

I did paint. I put quite a lot of effort into it. It just didn't work. I will spare you the melodramatic gloomy thoughts and just say they dissipated after a good meal and a bit of sobbing on my wonderful mate's shoulder. I suddenly understand why some artists turn to alcohol or drugs. So onward!
Short Sands Beach is part of the Oswald West State Park. All of the park is breathtakingly beautiful. Shorty is where the surfers go. They are a hearty bunch as surfing here requires a wetsuit year round. It is not optional. Surfing without a wetsuit means that you will die in about 15 minutes time. That pretty much heads off any arguments on gear.
There was a good group of surfers there today and the beach was festive with surfers and their dogs getting warm and playing ball. The tide had just hit the low point as I got there so most of them were resting up until the surf was "pumping" again. I rather like the laid back festive atmosphere they provide and the fierce dedication to their chosen sport.
I am hoping the video will turn out. I am interested to ask what others would have chosen, amongst the wealth of material, to paint.
Tomorrow Hug Point! Lets hope I was just experiencing growing pains and tomorrow's painting is half way decent. I am counting today's efforts in the 30 in 30 challenge, I just have chosen not to show the mess. Kind of like stuffing things in the closet when unexpected guests arrive.


Ok, a few lessons learned from this one. First, never wipe a painting in the field. It is good to put the painting away and look at it again in the morning. I actually did take another look. There was enough of the painting left that I thought I could rescue it. It isn't perfect but all considered I am pleased with the results, under the circumstances.
Second, by repainting it the next morning, I understood where I went wrong. I was able to correct some of it. I had my values wrong and also chroma or intensity. It was a challenging area to paint as well, as the light and atmosphere changed within minutes. Standard risk with plein air painting I am sure. I am learning to deal with it. I think it is going to take a while but that is OK.
And finally, before I show the finished painting, One of my favorite artists who is generous and seems very sweet and humble considering his awesome skills, David Jon Kassan, put this quote up on his Facebook page:

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.

I realized I hadn't gone all the way. 

Here is Wave Study #22
© R.L. Delight, Wave Study #22, 6"x8", oil on canvas

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