Friday, December 17, 2010

Square 31: Painting in my car, Impossible Beauty and 3 Pheasants!!

                                                            Square 31 6x6 oil (Plein Air)

So thanks to my Facebook friend Lawrence Chrapliwy who encouraged me to paint in my car and having already bought a wooden box to do just I hopped in my car and drove down one of my favorite country roads not far from my home.

Stunning beauty abounds and I drove about 15 mph snapping photos when 3 pheasants hopped across the road right in front of me!! I lifted my camera to snap and...bam...out of batteries. I never go anywhere with out them so as I am fumbling to find them.... thinking I have surly missed the opportunity...they disappeared into the wooded area just off the roadside. I thought ...oh least I saw I drove ahead and turned around about a mile down the road. But as I came back they had appeared again! I stopped about 10 feet from them ...dropped my window and for the next 20 minutes or so these three beauties posed for me! Then they had had enough and off they went...magical!

So I continued to a small clearing in the snow I had eyed up before. It was a big problem trying to simplify the incredible sights everywhere around me...I got out the box...set up and started to paint. It was 18 degrees out and sunny so I opened my window and turned off the, paint and sparkling snow. I will defiantly be doing this again!

A word about my "box" is a old wine box (12"x10"x3 1/2) found at Goodwill for 2 bucks and the lid will accommodate an 8x10. It fits on my lap in the drivers seat as long as the seat is all the way back and when open the lid rests on the steering wheel. My friends at Ace Hardware were kind enough to fit it with a piece of plexi which I clipped a hinged paper clip from so I could remove it easily. I glued 4 small blocks in the corners under the plexi creating a small space which I can fit tubes of paint, brushes, a view finder, a scraper, and some paper towels. I put my turp in my cup holder. No doubt I will be rigging this further now that I know it will work.

Ok so here's the big question for all my plein air friends (some real purists in the bunch) ...If I painted in my car is it still considered plein air? If I had the window down so nothing was impeding my view? And what if I didn't.....what's your opinion?


  1. Love the painting and story. Yes it is plein air as long as your outside. The pheasant photos are really nice. Keep going! Best- Larry

  2. I wouldn't worry about it, if it helps get us out there so be it! Maybe it's just a step to then getting right out in the elements. You've made me want to do this and I also struggled with painting in the car because other artists have said its not really plein aire but I don't believe it.

  3. Ha! Yes, I think the rule is windows down to be considered plein air:) But we'll let it slide just this once.



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