Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival

The 2017 Canandaigua Plein Air Festival was the first event of its kind I entered. My participation was limited to the Community Paintout, where we had 2 hours to paint something along Main Street in Canandaigua.

I haven’t done much Plein Air painting, and none since last summer. However I have been wanting to do it, and used this event as a way to jump right in.

There were a few details that required attending to first.

One is that I had to be ready to frame and present the work when it was done. That made me scramble for frames already on hand that fit the supports I had available. Which was some canvas, 11×14, an 8×10 panel, and a 12×16 panel a friend made. I found frames for all but the 11×14.

Then I had to make sure I had the paint box, tripods and additional gear to paint outside. The one item I have yet to own is an umbrella to fix to my tripod.

With all that done, I headed up, choose the larger panel, because the light was so awesome that morning. Had it stamped and went walking up the east side of the street. Without an umbrella, I knew I wanted shade for at least 2 hours, and a scene that was not going to drastically change in 2 hours.

What I found was a compelling porch where the indirect light, the lack of current maintenance and the angles of the roofs drew me in. Plus there was a huge shade Maple to sit under.

I am a fast painter. I usually get the composition done in the first 30 minutes. This one I realized though had a level of detail that I had to edit out… for two hours, I was not that fast.

But this experience underscored the value in the palette knife, and using a faster drying medium.