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Sunday, September 15, 2013

What Makes A Successful Plein Air Trip

'To Dance Among the Wildflowers'             8x10           pastel             ©Karen Margulis
 I am thrilled to share that my painting won second place at the Blue Ridge Plein Air Festival. Thank you to the judge Pebbie Mott for choosing my painting. I didn't envy her job with all of the wonderful paintings that were done.  Even though I am excited to have won an award it is only the icing on a delicious cake.

It was a successful plein air trip not because I won something. It was successful because of the people I shared the weekend with. Imagine a weekend in an idyllic location in the mountains, staying in a cabin on the river with a group of fellow artists....good friend sharing ideas, stories, food and wine....supporting one another, cheering each other on....sharing a love of painting and of nature.  What could be better than an experience like that. I am home recharged and renewed and maybe a bit tired.

What does make a successful plein air trip?  Not always doing a good painting. It is having the opportunity to be outside and experience the beauty with all ones senses and not from a photo. It is meeting the people who live in the places where we paint and hearing their stories. They enrich the paintings and the paintings to come. Every opportunity I get to share a weekend painting with friends is another wonderful memory to cherish. Even a painting that maybe doesn't work is a valuable lesson!

Thank you to Marsha Savage who was our  gracious host and who also won an award for her beautiful painting! It was a great weekend.

Painting the field

Here is a picture of the meadow where I painted. The photo below shows the Queen Annes Lace. The blended into the field in their Autumn colors but they spoke to me!

The Queen Annes Lace I painted


Irene said...

An absolutely beautiful painting, Karen

Randall Smith said...

Spectacular painting, Karen. Congrats!

I noticed that you taped your paper to a foam board. How do you present that to the judge(s)? Do you takes mats with you? Pop it in a frame? Just curious...

Karen said...

Thank you Irene!

Karen said...

Thanks Randall. I usually frame without a mat so I bring frames with backing board and glass all ready to frame. For this painting I had a frame with a mat and liner that I used. I don't add the wire until I know what orientation I will be using.

Judy Felsen said...

hi Karen I really enjoyed your comments about this plein air trip you just went on. It encouraged me because I was not pleased with the paintings I produced during a three day paint out in Socorro NM . But I sure enjoyed meeting new people and the camraderie. I always enjoy being outside but the weather was bad a lot of rain and clouds and of course everything kept changing.

Karen said...

Thanks Judy! I know what you mean about challenging weather! I always try to remind myself it is about the experience and not what kind of paintings I produce!

Debby said...

Beautiful painting! I have never painted Plein Air, would love to try it. Sounds like a wonderful trip!