Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Bee Hives in watercolour
What happens when you paint on location? Well on this one morning, four artists headed out by 9 am in two vehicles because we had a lot of art stuff, including a very large dog. After a short drive to our first potential spot we all got out and after a very short time decided we all could find something to paint there.
Our setups are surprisingly different. E painted out of the back of her car while she perched under the hatchback; K painted standing at an easel or sitting down on the bank of the ditch with the easel lowered if it was too windy; this morning B had a sketchbook and a chair; and I had my trusty small travel chair with my metal case with all my art supplies. An additional backpack held water for drinking and painting, a jacket, hat, sunglasses and it should have contained sunscreen. After I have my paper, backing board, drawing tools, brushes, water container, and paint palette out, I close up the case, set it beside me to lay out my artist supplies for easy access. I paint with the board resting on my knee and tilted up.
I chose to move my self down a few hundred feet from the beautiful landscape view the other artists selected, as some wonderfully coloured beehives had caught my eye. As I have a great concern for the honey bee, as they struggle with toxins in our environment, this collection of hives just drew me to come and paint them.
When B wandered up to first see what I was doing, she was surprised to see only dobs of colour where the hives were to be. On her second visit she was intrigued to see they had taken shape into boxes. Note not all the hives are represented clearly but the others have enough details, shaded sides and box handles that the grouping of them becomes believable as beehive colonies. The trees were not yellow yet but I was tired of green so I painted them in autumn colours. I did these after I painted the sky and the mountains. After painting the yellow leaves of the trees, the top edge was lightly sprayed with water to soften the edge.
Not all of the fence wires were drawn in as when I take in the view, my eyes don't focus on every line that is there. Although the fence was straight, I chose to tilt one post in, for variety. Sorry to the farmer who obviously took pride in a truly straight fence. Before I say it is done, I think I will add a little more detail to the trees and the two fence posts on the left. Then who knows? Anyways back to that morning, after about an hour and a half or perhaps two of pretty much silence, someone started shifting around and soon we are all noting we are feeling hungry. After a snack and tea we spent another half hour or so finishing up or starting new sketches before we all headed back to home base for lunch and in my case a quick nap. In the afternoon, we pretty much repeated the same routine. What a wonderful life.