Saturday, 9 August 2008
My first Pochade Paintings!
Earning a living from your art somehow involves more than just being able to paint. It's about marketing, computer skills, admin, packing up orders, invoicing, designing adverts, e.mailling and meeting customers. When I saw http://www.pochade.co.uk, I was immediately lured by the idea of getting back to basics.
So I bought the pochade box - and then realised I didn't have paint in small enough tubes to fit into it. No matter, a bit of retail therapy amongst the Great Art pages, and I soon had a box full of goodies, and was keen as mustard to get out there and paint en plein air.
Hmmm. What to put it all in? My much loved, used and abused Nordic Walking rucksack just wasn't big enough to get the box in, plus waterproofs, spare jumper, map, teensy flask of coffee, sarnies, super-lightweight folding stool, mobile phone, camera, compass, kitchen sink, dog ball, hydration bladder...I think that's the lot....so another trip to the shops carrying that lot with me so I could pack it in and out of various rucksacks finally culminated in the purchase of a 28 litre Vaude sac. Lovely, light as air, hardly felt it on my back. The pressure was on now, as I had spent a considerable amount of money in an attempt to simplify my painting life - how ironic is that.
Now. Where to go???? Maps and walking guides out, my favourite things -here? there? dithered and watched the rain lashing down outside - worried about not being in front of my easel in my studio completing commissions and earning proper money (and people think the life of an artist is all dreamy and airy fairy), finally, shouldered the rucksack, and strode off to .....the local beach! a round trip of just over 5 miles, with cliffs and scenery and ice creams and all that - found my spot on the very top of the cliff, sat on my super lightweight folding stool - and started to paint, at last! Oh joy. I had forgotten just what a marvelous, simple delight it is, sitting and absorbing the view, painting just to explore the surroundings, to really see, instead of glancing and relying on the modern sketchbook of the digital camera.
So I'm hooked. I don't think I'm very good at it, which is further incentive to keep doing it. I struggled with colour mixing, making greens far too readily, unaccustomed paints having different properties to my usual manufacturer. I'm far too fiddly with my mark making, and yet, I am absurdly proud of my first offerings, and can't wait to get out again. Watch this space!