Wow, from the cold snow of New Zealand to the tropical paradise of Fiji. Talk about climate change!!
Flying over the islands of Fiji I am in awe of its beauty. The mountains, the coral, the crystal seas. Can't wait to paint them all. The resort we are staying in has a postcard view. Watching the people move so slowly and effortlessly in "Fiji Time" you can not do anything but relax. Looking forward to explore this fantastic place and meet its people.
What a fantastic spot. The moody sky and deep green ocean was just too tempting not to paint. We were surrounded by tourists and Nicole helped guard my pastels for me as children ran up to have a look while she competed a sketch. A few albatross made their appearance to much camera clicking madness, Unfortunately they eluded the lens. Some days may not be sunny and bright but it is still good to paint. The subtle colours in the rock cliff were amazing and would not be captured well by the camera. I do love that perspective high over water. Lots of fun.
To awake to new snow on mountain tops is such a joy! I am captured by the warmth of the light and the cool of the shadow. A photo does not do it justice - so out come the pastels.....
I am often asked about my easel when travelling. Especially when you need to fit it in luggage on a plane! You think 20kg is a lot until you try to take your art stuff.
After researching online for plein air easels my main concern was for pack up size so it could fit in my luggage but still sturdy enough to withstand a bit of weather and hold my pastels. There are a few overseas models worth investing in but I was not wanting to pay a lot of money for an overseas model without seeing it. Karol Oakley (an awesome artist friend of mine) showed me her converted camera tripod and I was hooked.
My husband created the backing board for me. It is aluminium for lightness and strength. The carmera fitting screws into the backboard then attaches to the tripod.
The images below show the easel at work and in various stages of packing up. As you can see it all packs down to fit into my backpack. The backpack has trolley wheels too for luggage which is handy. The little tray setup is called an Easel Butler. I bought that from Canada and use it all the time. This little set up is now eligible for frequent flyer points with the amount of trips it has done. I do love it.
My first visit to New Zealand has been just spectacular. Great friends, great seafood, great wine but most of all great weather!!.
When you go on holiday and especially a plein air painting one - the weather counts. Glenn and I had perfect weather for the hole trip. It seemed the sunshine followed us all the way.
I will definitely be back...
A viewfinder is essential to plein air painting. It helps you find a gem of a view in amongst the chaos of the outdoors. There are lots of good ones on the market but if you want a cheap answer you can make your own. To make a cheap viewfinder cut two angles of mat board the same size as in the photo. Outer dimensions 17cm x 14cm - inner dimensions 13cm x 10cm. This makes the standard ratio of the large image 4x6 which is common in framing. If you want to you can mark extra ratio's on the back of the viewfinder to give your favourite framing size if you like. I have marked 8x12 and 8x10 just to show what is possible. You can also hold it up to your paper and adjust to this size, then find your view. Options are limitless. Making the card mid tone and neutral helps make tone and colour decisions. Hope this helps!
Sunrise is really fast! Every time you look down at the pastels and look back up again it has changed colour. But I love the adrenaline rush of trying to capture it.
I had to take Glenn to the airport again at 3:30 in the morning so it was just on dawn as I got back to the Sunshine Coast. A nice opportunity to stop at Moffat and catch this one.
The light was different today. Just when I thought I had the formula yesterday - ha! it has changed again.
Waves seem to take so long to paint 'cause you have to wait for them to roll in to see what the tone or colour was! Patience Patience....
The sea is always changing - always moving. Had a lovely morning photographing Moffat Beach this morning. Lots of resource material for future paintings. Was amazed at the difference the colour and tone of this sketch was to the photo. No wonder i go to the effort of painting in the outdoors!
Enjoy My adventures into the joys and tribulations of