Yesterday was the first plein air day with the Vista and Vineyard Plein Air group this year. We paint at different locations around the Willamette Valley from mid-May through mid-October. Tradition has us meeting at Garland’s Nursery every year to start the season. I believe it’s because they have several greenhouses and buildings we can paint inside of if it’s raining. Yesterday there was the threat of rain, so I tried to find somewhere undercover to paint, but ended up in the parking lot, painting irises with my umbrella leaning on my easel just in case.
This purple iris is hard to capture with photography – kind of like my red poppies – the camera wants to turn them blue, not the blue violet of the actual flower.
Even after fiddling with the photos in Lightroom, the color is still not what the actual flower looked like. That’s one of the reasons why I like to paint flowers — to capture the actual color I see, not the color the camera takes. I still take photos for future references, but I like plein air painting because painting from life gives a person so much more information than a camera can capture.
This painting is a watercolor on Yupo paper, and I started right in with the paint brush as my drawing tool then put in more washes of color, painting in the basic shapes.
I started a second iris painting so I could trade off to allow some drying time. The second one isn’t finished yet, so you’ll have to wait to see it until another time. Below is where I left off, hurrying to put in some more color details before I had to leave.
Today, during lulls while working at Art In The Valley Gallery, I continued working on both iris paintings. Here is the first one, finished:
Tomorrow I plan to work on my large geranium painting and see if I can finish it since it’s going into an art show with all the other Window On Art pieces this coming Monday. Wish me luck!