Friday, March 15, 2013

First Day!!!

Today was the very first day of painting en plein air for the Toe River Valley Plein Air Painters.  We are fair weather painters and since it was supposed to be 50 degrees by noon - with hopes of highs in the 60s - Sandra Gates and I, Susan Garriques, headed out for an afternoon of painting.

Finding a location seems to always be a challenge, which seems odd considering we live in a beautiful location.  Let me tell you, though, the amazing views are nearly always in a place where you have no hope of even getting off the road - let alone room to park and set up to paint.  Our mountain roads are narrow and very very twisted.

Earlier this month, I was hiking with the NC High Peaks Trail Association - actually we were "strolling" - in the new Whit Bottom Sports Complex out on the west side of Burnsville along the Cane River.  It's got good parking and easy river access.  (Pretty soon, I hope it will have rest rooms, because that would make it perfect.)   Remembering the fun stroll we had there, I thought it might be a good place to paint.

We arrived about 12:30 and found a place pretty quickly.  The trail runs right along the river and there is room to set up an easel and still have other people pass by.  Sandra got to painting right away, while I messed about with my viewfinder and several thumbnails.  I'm really trying to practice what I read about.  Take my time.  Make thumbnails.  Meanwhile, the time ticks away and the light changes.....  

Sandra did a beautiful painting and it wasn't until I looked at my downloaded photos that I saw the shadow cast across the canvas.  You'll see it in the photo, I'm sure.  It is so obvious in the photo, I am amazed I didn't see it before taking the photo.  My plan was to post a finished photo of Sandra's painting, but even that has a shadow right down the middle.  Next time I'm in her studio, I'll take a photo and post it.

Thanks for stopping by.  If you'd like to join our group - please send an email to  We'll add you to the list.  No charge.  Come paint with us!!!