PenguinArt by Kate Garchinsky

Tag: plein air

Everything I learned about painting outdoors, I learned from Pingu. Now you can too!
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1. Be ready when inspiration strikes! Store all your supplies together in a trusty ol’ paint box. Don’t forget the beret.

2. Scout out a painting location, but don’t think too much into it. Allow the subject matter to choose you.

3. Set up quickly in a place where you’re comfortable. Get the composition and values on the page.

4. Be bold! Don’t be stingy with your paint. Load that palette up with key colors in your favorite arrangement.

5. Be selective with live models. There are some real weirdos out there.

6. Things change fast. Commit to your first impression. Don’t get caught up chasing. It rarely works.

7. If you really mess up, start over. No big deal.

8. Don’t feel pressured to share your early works in progress with people, even if they beg. Show off when the work is ready.

9. Ignore the critiques of your friends. They don’t know what they’re talking about. Especially if they went to art school.

10. Respect your environment. Leave absolutely nothing behind. No dumping dirty water, solvents or paints. You could ingest that toxic cadmium one day. So could a bald eagle, or a coot, a trout, a seal, or even a penguin. You see?

Catching birds with paint and paper. Photo by Brian.

Catching birds with paint and paper. Photo by Brian Carpenter.

Bonus tip: Bring a comfortable seating device. A blanket, camp chair, folding stool, chaise lounge, whatever. Boggy logs may be in short supply.

Tag: plein air

"Brandywine Rapids" in progress

Sssshhhhh. Do you smell that?

Creeks swell with April rain. May flowers perfume the air and seduce the birds and the bees. *sneeze*

This Spring feels particularly springy to me. Out with the old and dusty! In with the new and lusty! The Earth stimulates my senses, whispering, “Come. Touch. Smell. Feel. Taste. Listen. Everything is reborn.”

“Now paint.”

Somewhere between February and March I made a sharp return to painting the outdoors. I missed Spring last year in the blurry busy-ness of Sing Me to Sleep‘s release. (Oh my gosh, can you believe it’s been a full year now?) This year I consciously reopened my senses to the seasons. And you know, I’ve noticed that in the simple act of noticing, paying deeper attention to the itty bitty changes in the woods surrounding my home, time slows down. The anticipation of Spring greens seemed to delay their arrival. Each bud and sprout appeared so darned stubborn, as reluctant to wake as my beagle baby nestled among my bedcovers on a grey morning.

As I draw and paint the landscape, however, time speeds up. The sun’s position shifts from one blink to the next. Photographs may remember the position of things, but it fails to record the color and quality of the light exactly as I see it.

My purpose in this painterly homecoming is to record the moment, as I see, feel, smell, taste, and hear it. Each moment is precious and fleeting as a hummingbird’s heartbeat.

Recent works from March thru April:

"That Trail That Seems to Go On Forever" by Kate Garchinsky, aqua crayon on paper

Study for "White Clay Creek Snow Melt" by Kate Garchinsky, aqua crayon on paper

"Brandywine Rapids" by Kate Garchinsky, aqua crayon on paper

Study for "Brandywine Spring Swell" by Kate Garchinsky, aqua crayon on paper

Follow my Facebook page updates for more works in progress and upcoming exhibits.