Plein Air Work at Hidden Lake Gardens

Plein Air Day at Hidden Lake Gardens

The Clinton Arts Center planned a wonderful Plein Air event with Hidden Lake Gardens this past week end. The weather was a bit iffy, and it did rain a bit in the middle of the day, but that is one of the great things about painting out of doors- you just never know what to expect!

Plein Air painting is a lot of fun. It’s a french term for gathering up your paints and an easel or table and just going out on location to paint what you see, right then and there. It’s very freeing, that’s for sure. Hidden Lake Gardens was the ideal place for this year’s event. There isn’t a way to turn that didn’t have a beautiful view to paint.

Earlier in the week, I drove out to the park to explore a bit and scout out a good spot to set up my easel. WOW. I had a tough time deciding on best views, but figured that being near parking and a bathroom would be a plus. Most of these places below would have worked quite nicely.

Saturday Painting Plein Air

The day of the event, I awoke to a cool and dreary morning- it was very grey and threatening to rain. I arrived at the park early enough to set up. I decided being close to the visitor’s center for shelter in case of rain might be my best option. Luckily, there were no shortage of great views there either. I just picked one and set up.

plein air painting
This is MY spot.

I set up my gear, used my phone to frame a shot as reference and got to work.I was always keeping one eye on the weather, ready to dash inside on a moment’s notice.

plein air painting
Almost done, just before the rains came

The sun broke out several times, and along with it a few sprinkles, simultaneously. There was never enough rain to worry about though until I was almost finished at around noon. So, I gathered everything up and set up in the lobby to finish the painting. All that really remained was adding in highlights,shadows and a bit of ‘Tweaking’.

Working in the lobby was fun, I met some really nice people that way. Eventually I did get the painting done, packed everything up and came home to let it dry.Then I put a finish on it and framed the work for Sunday’s show.

Plein Air painting

Sunday Artist Reception

plein air painting We had to wait around a bit to deliver the painting, so Al snapped a photo of me in my spot before leaving it.

The reception was wonderful- there were seven of us that showed our work. I think more people may have shown up if the weather had cooperated better. Everyone there voted for their favorite work in the show. Somehow I ended up winning the People’s Choice Award, so that was pretty cool!

Plein Air painting

 ‘Pond at Hidden Lake Gardens’ (11×14) will be on display at Hidden Lake Gardens visitor’s center. It is for sale, framed, $200.00. It can be purchased there, or through my studio after August 31, 2016.



Ellen Leigh   

'Life is a great big canvas, throw all the paint on it you can!'

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