Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Winter Garden

Winter Garden
This is the fourth painting in an 'en plein air' series testing a cobbled together system which allows me to hold a board containing everything I need to paint in my left hand, and a painting instrument in my right. It should also be light enough to carry in my bag at all times. The rule is simple, if it can't be Blu-Tacked to the support board then it won't come out with me. You can see other posts in this series by going to the bottom of this one and clicking on the label, 'pastel port.' I really don't feel comfortable using the French term 'en plein air.' Not that I have anything against the French language, in fact I find it very beautiful to listen to. Problem is, I don't speak much French and so when people like me use it, I'm always reminded of that classic Faulty Towers punchline, 'pretentious, moi?' So from here to eternity when you read the term, 'outdoor painting,' it means, erm, painting outdoors. No franglais required.
We got an unexpected Spring bonus in the form of a cold snap this week and I couldn't resist the chance to try out the ultimate challenge for the device; painting outdoors in freezing snowy conditions. I knew I'd have to stand for this one and to my surprise found the whole kit stood up remarkably well. I chose a rather strange composition because I liked the shapes it made, simple as that. Various people were photographed as they came past so I could choose which ones suited back in the studio after the rest of the image was finished.
The scene shows a favourite spot in Edinburgh's Royal Botanical Gardens. From here you can see a panorama which includes Calton Hill, Arthur's Seat and Edinburgh Castle along with many church spires.