In my experience, it's rare when you go out to paint and meet with 'ideal conditions'. This actually happened last Saturday when a friend and I visited Harrison Lake State Park. We arrived early because a group of Civil War re-enactors were camping and we wanted to get some photos. This turned out WAY better than expected; the re-enactors were in costume, they had children and a real live CANON and they were happy to pose for pictures--with the canon. Was this my lucky day or not? Now I have some great material to use for paintings when I am trapped inside the studio during those long winter days.
After our photo shoot, my friend and I headed over to the other side of the lake where she had spotted some lily pads earlier in the week. I decided to paint the lake and surrounding area after looking over the lily pads and finding just a few blooms. That's a painting for another day. Saturday's painting turned out great and I had a wonderful time because THE CONDITIONS WERE IDEAL. I am stressing that because most of the time conditions are not ideal when you go out to paint plein air. The bugs are biting, it's muggy, the day is too hot, the day is too cold, it's windy etc. Or maybe there's a menacing dog or a honking goose who won't leave you alone. The variables are endless, but Saturday was one of those rare days when conditions were perfect. If I hadn't gone home with a nice painting it would have totally been my own fault.I was pretty happy with the painting of the day, which even included a fisherman who actually caught a fish right in front of us. This allowed me to capture his gesture and stance when he reeled it in. Some days are just better than others.