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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

How to Avoid a Plein Air Nightmare

'Color Across the Creek'          6x6        pastel        @Karen Margulis

It was a relief to wake up.  Thank goodness it wasn't real. It was just a dream. Well actually it was a nightmare and one of those very real nightmares. The kind that are so real that you can see, hear and feel every detail.  

Let me explain....remember this was just a dream but it could very easily happen so there is a lesson to learn!  In this dream I was at a pastel workshop.  We were at a beach. It must have been the Caribbean because the water was such a beautiful turquoise blue and was crystal clear.   I was painting. I was very involved with my painting. I was totally in the zone and was oblivious to everything else. 

At some point the instructor came by to let me know the group was headed to lunch.  I realized I was hungry so I closed up my box and went for my backpack. My Backpack!  Where was it? The beach was deserted so no one could have taken it. Then it dawned on me. The tide had come up while I was engrossed in my painting. I looked and could see the backpack out about 10 feet... underwater....I could see it in the clear water....swaying gently with the current surrounded by fish.  OH NO!  My cameras, my extra paper and pastels, my money, phone and passport! All underwater. What a disaster. As I tried to decide what to do the alarm when off.  I woke up filled with relief that it was just a bad dream.

  I consider myself forewarned.  So how will I avoid a Plein Air disaster like a rising tide?

  • Be aware of my surroundings. It's great to be involved in a painting but when you tune everything out not only do you risk safety, you miss out on the sights and sounds of the location. That is also one reason I don't like to listen to music. I like the music of the birds and wind and waves.
  • Keep the backpack in sight. I won't just plop it down anywhere in my mad rush to set up and paint.  In fact my new tripod has a hook for a weight so I will be using the backpack as the weight and it will be right at my feet. 
  • Keep my money and ID on my person. Why on earth did I have it in a backpack that I wasn't even keeping track of?  I should know better. I now have a money belt for security. And camera and phone will be in my pockets. 
Do you have any plein air tips for avoiding disasters like a rising tide? Feel free to share in the comments.


Tim Moore said...

for that Plein Air feeling inside, try http://birdsong.fm/ ..just recordings of birds and forest sounds.Wonderful while painting...i listen out in the back yard while reading..always draws the birds in..its wonderful!..

robertsloan2art said...

Lucky that was just a dream! It's awful when something like that is actually life. Not with tides and water but forgetting important things like say, ordering needed medication in time.

suepics said...

Wear non-skid shoes. Set your timer on your cell phone or watch for 45 minutes so you rouse up and stretch a bit. If you are older use a rolling cart for a orderly retreat without injury