My class and I met in our local Scituate Harbor today. It was gorgeous! I researched weather, tides, wind direction, and determined that this piece of the harbor would be interesting, sheltered, warm (enough). Okay, some research, and lots of luck. We moved 25 yards closer to the harbor and the temperature dropped several degrees as the wind picked up. Some of my students are new to outside, or rusty after a winter indoors. It can be overly stimulating and my experience is that newer painters will often retreat into the safety of one iconic boat, sitting in profile, or perhaps one building, not that interesting, but "accessible" to the overly stimulated brain looking at a world without edge.
I encourage the practice of making several thumbnail sketches looking at shapes, and their linking darks, remembering to leave room at the bottom of the painting for the viewer to enter. As usual, my class amazed me with their intentionality, good humor, intense thinking, and results. We spread out along the wall and down among the rocks, and were suddenly a part of the local scenery. I told them all that part of their training is to chat with "their public". We met moms with babies, grand moms with babies, walkers, bikers, joggers, a man with a dented canvas at home asking advice on fixing, a man with a lobster who asked if we had a quick sketch artist who might want to draw it. (Might want to draw a DEAD lobster, by the looks of it). We gracefully declined. A few friends stopped by. We made some new friends, and a bird on a wire dropped a gift on one painter's hand. I reveled in that wonderful call gulls make near the water, the sun and salt on my face, and the rich smell of clam dirt at low tide. Great day, great results.
This is the beginning of my painting, working title, "One Truck, Two Truck.." I was interested in the boat ramp leading up to the beautiful dory sitting in the lot, and the truck behind. Several of us painted the truck(s). Turns out there were several parked adjacent to one another. Their slow exodus was akin to peeling a multi-colored onion. As a result, each painting with truck had a different color, including silver, red, white, black. And, just an aside... when you stand next to the water painting a boat on the land it can be very disorienting. Each time I looked up for reference on the boat, I looked at the water and couldn't find my boat among those tethered to the pier. The disorientation was short-lived, but noteworthy.
Great day. Joyful day. Great day.