The weather has finally been cooperative and I have been outdoors to paint several times recently. I took the dog for a walk at Mary S. Young Park the other day and noticed the wonderful light patterns in the forest, so I quickly returned home and got my painting gear and returned for a quiet session by myself in the deep shade. My intention was something along the lines of a John Carlson scene with impressive trees, but that isn't what I ended up with. I spent about an hour on this, and wasn't able to paint back into some areas because it kept swallowing my color, so I called it quits. It isn't often that I am very happy with the results of a plein air session, but this time I was pleased with the mood created by the blues in the shaded undergrowth; it seemed to capture something of what I was feeling, and I don't know exactly how it came about, since in that deep shade is was difficult to see the true color I was mixing. I was enamored with the brilliant yellow greens of the light coming through the leaves, and while that didn't show up on the canvas, the overall effect almost feels as if it had. It was only after I returned home that I could really see what I had done, and I realized I had committed the fatal error of splitting the composition in half with that horizon line, but somehow it doesn't seen to adversely effect the painting. It may be that the strong vertical lines of the trees suture the composition together.
I think I must have realized how often I paint water in my work, so these latest few lack entirely in a water element. Here I was trying to capture the feeling of the lush ferns and hush of the forest, with a dog portrait thrown in for good measure (she was waiting patiently for me to continue on the trail as I snapped this photo). I didn't spend much time on the dog, just a few dabs and strokes, but it doesn't seem like it will be impossible to come up with a fair resemblance if I sit down to do a true pet portrait of her (Greta).
This plein air from the latest outing of LOPAS wasn't very successful, but it did catch some of the softness of the meadow and surrounding greenery. Perhaps I was too distracted by the conversation this time. Burt regaled us with tales of his youth, and in the photo below, you can see Randall turning to me, saying with astonishment, "I feel like I haven't lived!"