do most of my painting indoors at my home studio, as whenever I try to
paint alfresco something usually seems to go wrong.
don’t get me wrong, I am not a whining winger or a moaner!
I like to get as much pleasure from my art as possible and
anything that gets in the way of that happening is frowned upon and
spoken harshly of.
Painting can be many
things to many people.
A pastime to be enjoyed, relaxing, stimulating, creative, challenging……..
I could go on, but luckily for you I won’t.
So let me set the scene….
It’s a lovely sunny day in summer and I get a call from a friend to
spend a day painting outside at a farm location.
Now do I ‘play safe,’
make my apologies and paint at my home studio or take a chance that on
this occasion the outdoor experience will be fine.
Great weather, great location and the
company of a fellow artist.
I had to go.
As I was applying washes onto my 200lb Bockingford I began to notice
a noise that was getting louder.
Before I could turn to
my friend and say “what is that”, a farmer in a hedge cutting
contraption /machine appeared in the next field.
This not only sent
wood, dust and leaf particles spiralling into the air only to rain down
onto my ‘wet on wet’ , but also disturbed some of the local
I call them Thunderbugs, don’t know what their real name is but they
are hardly visible , thin black flies that get everywhere and make you
itch like mad. In your ears, hair, down your neck, up your nose…… We
were both trying to ignore them as much as possible and carry on
painting and indeed if I had got a third hand for scratching myself
there wouldn’t have been a problem.
They do make a pretty pattern as they land onto the wet paint and do
their best to drag themselves over it as much as they possibly can, but the trail
marks can be quite confusing to the viewer admiring your finished sky.
So there we are, sat at
our chosen location doing our initial sketches before painting.
Paint, brushes and water at the ready.
It must have taken all
of the first five minutes for the local ‘cat from hell’ (I think he
had been named Arni or Terminator or something like that) to find us and
jump from the top of the pergola that we were sitting under, landing
neatly next to my feet, oh and then knocking over the tub of water as it
decided to kick my tubes of paints out of there box.
Now I don’t want
letters and e-mails from cat lovers saying that I am being cruel, but
you have to see this from an artists point of view. This cat had miles,
yes acres of land to play in. It could have chased birds till its heart
was content, caught rats and mice until its belly was full or just lay
in the sun doing nothing at all.
No, it’s more fun to hassle this human invader to his
I am an adult professional person and so conduct myself in a grown up
manner. Hence I swiftly shouted at the cat to go away or I may take it
to my taxidermist friend. Well, once a visit to him and it would have
stayed still long enough to at least paint it.
The cat then disappeared and we got a productive 30 minutes into our work.
It was another10
minutes of scratching before I had enough. The last straw was when I
noticed that these thunderbugs had decided to use my water as their outside
I swear that if you
looked close enough you could see a few of them doing backstroke and it
common knowledge that dive bombing into any pool has been prohibited for years.
So when you think it
may be nice to go and paint outside……beware,
something may be waiting out there.....
determined to distract you.
Don't be negative about painting alfresco (like some),
be strong and go where both wimp and hero has gone before, armed with your art tools,