painting pickles

May 7, 2015

CAMPING ALONE along the Oregon Coast–that fantastically alive strip of ocean wonders–provided many outdoor painting pickles. . . .

PICKLE #1–mosquitoes and bugs.  Surely some art restoration expert somewhere has discovered kamikaze mosquitoes embedded in the impasto of Impressionist art.  French curses likely filled the air, Claude spending as much time squashing bugs as trying to capture the light.  Imagine the fog of mosquitoes waiting for him up beside those water lilies;

PICKLE #2–the wind.  Big, dramatic, vividly-alive ocean waves are that size because of the wind.  The wind along the Oregon Coast is permanent and robust.  It carries away notebooks, sketch pads, laptop easels, flimsy plastic pallets, kolinsky brushes, art pencils, and tissues.  And, as one panics, dashing after them, fresh water rinse containers are spilled (of course, the nearest fresh water source is at the damn parking lot bathroom), and then (naturally) there goes the lawn chair, too–end over end, heading towards the box kite-flying couple smirking at the Mr. Bean imitation.  Everything rescued, finally sitting, easel anchored with one determined hand, brush swishing about in the water jar, a sudden gust throws sand over everything, and the stupid tilley hat Christmas present (guaranteed to age a person 20 yrs, whether 25 or 55) is seen sailing out towards the surf, the wind carrying away the muttered sounds of ‘good riddance’ along with it.

Arch Cape, Oregon a

PICKLE #3…..time and tides.  Outdoor painting (forget this en plein air crap–it’s called painting outdoors) isn’t done in studio time.  It’s done in real live time.  The tides never stay put.  So the grand, thundering waves are either constantly retreating as the scene is being depicted, or–this is nabob of stubbornness–they are approaching at an erratic, yet ever-constant rate, until the-I’m-staying-put painter sees his supplies (pallet, paint box, little stool, brushes, tubes, you name it) suddenly sucked out into the collapsing surf of an unannounced, really big wave–a REALLY BIG WAVE–which is about to be followed by another.

PICKLE #4… supplies left…..


cliffs near Newport Beach, Oregon

….. and sketching is suddenly the preferred medium….*sigh*… and geriatric Charlie Brown decides to go find some fish and chips–and a local art supply store.

…..and maybe a therapist.  or a bar.

8 Responses to “painting pickles”

  1. ruthhurd said

    I can related … unfortunately.


  2. Hehehehe!!! A day you will never forget. And nor shall we, your laughing readers. By the way, I loved the graphite sketch your resorted to. Wonderful.


  3. thank you dear Janette–your site is a delight


  4. Hmm should I thank you that your woes (so well written) made me smile and laugh…yep I will thank you. 🙂 on the bright side, you still produced some great art! And I hope you got to eat some fish and chips. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. THANK YOU for the tea and sympathy, Cynthia, Jen and Rebecca. It was good I was alone. No one would have wanted to have me around. AND….I returned to find the Stellar Jays had made the picnic table all theirs (tiny smile)


  6. Rebecca said

    This made me laugh! So much resonates…with you also on the terminology ‘painting outdoors’. Atmospheric pictures as a result, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jen Chaudhry said

    Halarious and sad at the same time! Shakespeare would be proud! I say All three: fish&chips, bar and therapist!!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This was a delight to read!

    Liked by 2 people

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