Cold Harbor Battlefield with Broom Straw Grass / oil

The tree leaning in on the right represents me dancing alone.

The tree leaning in on the right represents me dancing alone.

Illusion or Magic?

When I’m out painting in plein air most of the time I can concentrate on it without any interruptions, but I don’t mind when people talk to me. I need to step back from my painting anyway. Most of the time they only say “Hi” but sometimes they say things I think about later. I don’t understand what they mean when they ask me why am I doing this.

I know it’s meant as a compliment when they say I have a “gift.” (from God, I guess) but I say, “No, If I can do this you can do it. It’s only a question of, how much time do you have? Because I’ve been working on it for a few years and I’m just getting the hang of it.”

A lady said I bring peace to the battlefield. I can’t figure out how I could do that unless I believed in magic, which I don’t. I guess they can see I’m “in the zone” when I’m painting because I’m concentrating. More likely, I’d bring trouble! hahaha Like my role model on the Virginia State Seal. In reality, I look for places that are peaceful and safe to paint.

I’m trying to match my colors and values to natural color to give my painting the illusion of depth. If I’m not sure about the color I mixed on my palette I might hold up my palette knife and close one eye, to compare it to what I see. If anyone sees me hold up my palette knife like that they might think I’m making some kind of offering gesture, but no, I’m not doing magic, I’m only trying to correct my values.

Some people think I’m out there painting in public to show off so people will buy my painting. Yeah, I wish. It’s not working out like that for me. I’ll probably continue to paint in plein air though, because now I’m spoiled by it and working at home is boring. I like to avoid crowds to draw and paint. If you see me dancing alone in a crowd, that’s me showing off. 😉


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