I believe I do my best work outdoors. Painting en plein air is the ultimate experience in which to meet the challenges of composition, palette selection, and ever changing light. However, if you were watching me through binoculars you would swear I am ready to give up within the first 15-20 minutes of painting! Rarely do I like my starts . . . and I must push myself through that first phase to see the fruits of perseverance.
In the piece above, Plein Air Sunday Afternoon, (pastel on ArtSpectrum Colourfix, 8" x 13") I overcame one of a pastelists greatest challenges. Before I deposited one single speck of pigment that day a gust of wind caught my easel, tipping it just enough to, no, not take my easel down, but to flip my box of pastels onto the asphalt. So there I stood, surrounded by my favorite pigments, some broken, some scattered out of sight, and some mere dust particles . . .
And wouldn't you know, a boy scout and his parents just happened by, and they graciously helped me collect all of the pieces we could retrieve from the 8-10' elipse of rainbow fragments . . . in exchange for a brief interview the young scout sought out for a project he would be able to complete once he had spoken to an artist! How fortunate for both of us!
I went on to complete my very first plein air painting of Mt. Rainier, taking about 2 1/2 to 3 hours to close in on the final details . . . which was no mean feat considering I worked without the benefit of a palette of pastels arranged according to value and hue . . . that disappeared in the wind that day!