topiary cats

topiary cats

Friday, December 10, 2010

Plein Air 39

It's 27 degrees out today (that's -3 for you Celsius fans) and I have a day off, so I went out painting in Central Park.  It was cold and I was standing on a steep slope which was really uncomfortable.

This morning before I left my friend sent me a text WITH CAPITAL LETTERS  telling me I HAD to get a copy of Pema Chodron's Unconditional Confidence as soon as possible.  So I did, because I usually recognize obvious Signs when I see them.

I started listening to the lecture right exactly as I started painting.  Pema's opening lines in the speech were about- the act of starting a painting- and I do mean I was literally laying out my first brush strokes on the blank panel as she was saying it.  And this was not a lecture on painting.

(By the way, it is an excellent lecture and I highly recommend it)

I like when things like this happen, the moments of obvious synchronicity.  Things for me have been very quiet on the spiritual front. And life in general.  I have felt uninspired and generally in a flat place.  Like the Nice Guidance Voices have gone quiet and have been busy with other things.  So it is really nice when the universe says HI I AM HERE!! in a way I cannot possibly miss or misinterpret.

Anyhow, here is the painting.  8x10 oil on panel, one hour, it was toned with yellow ochre but I like an earth red undertone better.

Palette: Fanchon Red, Yellow Ochre, Lemon Yellow, Pthalo Green, French Ultramarine, and Burnt Umber.
I like this particular palette quite a lot, it might be my favorite plein air palette to date.

Today was also my new knife's first outing.  She had a great time.  I should have put more of that red leaf ground color in the rocks.


  1. Oh Jess, I love this one so much Its really good , brilliant colurs reflecting in this , your getting quite the plein air painter I think ,....

  2. Jessica, your distant trees are a real treat with their warm color echoing a little bit in the water! And those lavender colors are exquisite...

  3. It sounds as if you had a lovely day that turned into a lovely painting in spite of having to endure the cold. I love your water in this, and it is complemented nicely by the warm colors in the background. Congrats on a day out painting!

  4. Nothing like a day off to give yourself a kick start on a project. I am glad to see that you are coming out of the fog. I hate it but I am still in there somewhere. Maybe I will listen to this lecture you thought worth a listen to. I like the color in this. it gives life to the scene.

  5. Beautiful, Jessica!!! I love when things like this happen!

  6. Anonymous12:03 PM

    Wow, no problem with your paint moving ? You are so brave - I try to wait till it's at least above freezing.
    So true about synchronicity. I have it more with some people than with others, or at least its more obvious (like yours was).

  7. Nice pictures, congratulated

  8. I love Pema. I saw her speak this summer up at the Buddhist retreat center I volunteered at. And as you know, I also love signs from the Universe. Incidentally, I ALSO love your painting!

    Hope you're well. Thailand stories start tomorrow if you ever feel like coming by to visit. xoxo


Thanks for stopping by!