After a month of high pollen alerts, torrential rains have cleaned the air and a very chilly air mass ushered in an ideal day for plein air painting, with stark shadows and bright colors. I met up with the Emerald Coast Plein Air Painters at Nick’s Restaurant in Basin Bayou, which is on the north side of the Choctawhatchee Bay, halfway between Freeport and Niceville, in Northwest Florida. Shortly after we arrived, the neighbor released his penful of exotic chickens, and they provided distraction and amusement while we painted, the young roosters strutting around, trying their first crowing in cracking, adolescent voices.
I remembered what I had learned in Morgan Samuel Price’s workshop 2 weeks ago. I worked with the intention of creating the illusion of space, with horizontal surfaces catching much more light and vertical surfaces much less, using values to lead the eye through the painting.
For my first painting, I was interested by the four trees along the shoreline, so I opted not to include the boat, “Pompano”, which stood on dry-land props between two of the trees. My interest was that one of the trees was as orange as it was green. After I finished it, I painted a second, smaller painting, this one of the boat. Both paintings accomplished what I set out to do.