Labor Day Weekend = Plein Air Workshop

Henry Isaacs and Ashley Bryan led the second annual painting workshop sponsored by the Islesford Dock.

Friday, pre-hurricane, we painted at Frank and Kim Newlin’s house. Photo journalist, Richard Hill, took many shots of the class. Click here to check them out. The weather started to get windy so we regrouped at the dock after a picnic lunch.

Tiny homemade potato chips from home grown potatoes! One of my favorite parts of the lunch!

A change of venue brought renewed energy to the painters on the first day. We were all pretty tired by the time we met up again for a critique and then dinner. (I was not only tired but was beset by a huge migraine. Talk about bad timing.)

On Saturday morning, Hurricane Earl had taken a two hundred mile detour to the east and we were all spared the extreme weather that had been predicted. We did get a heavy downpour which kept painters inside (and migraine sufferers in bed) until the sun came out again around noon.

After lunch we assembled at Bunker’s Cove to work on capturing this:

or this:

(Same view, rapidly changing sky.)  At this point I still had my headache and was thinking I would never become a painter, and I was not sure if I ever even wanted to become a painter! In total frustration I painted a huge zig zag on my canvas and threw it down on the rocks.  I lose something between looking at the landscape and touching the brush to canvas. It’s like I become blind to seeing what is light and what is dark. Most frustrating. If someone recites numbers to me, my brain shuts down and I can’t focus. I think its why I don’t like card games. I have discovered that plein air painting has the same effect on me. When I try to capture what I am seeing on a flat piece of canvas, I can no longer focus on what I am seeing.

Give me a camera, instead of a paintbrush, and I can see exactly what I wish I could paint.

I’ll try again tomorrow, but I think I will start with painting something that is 2 feet away from me.


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2 responses to “Labor Day Weekend = Plein Air Workshop

  1. Oh! You’re painting! This is so exciting!
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful time with us, I felt I was there through your gorgeous photographs.

    I think you are being hard on yourself, give yourself time with the materials, I bet you will be creating fabulous paintings soon enough!


    • fernald244

      Hi Shannon,
      It was a really fun workshop AND I got to sleep in my own bed at night. This was written on the worst day for me. I had a really good day the next day. I have only painted twice; last year during this workshop and this year during this workshop. But now I’m ready to leave the paints behind and get to work on some jewelry, in the studio.


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