Painting outdoors again

It’s time! Weather is perfect (with a few variations). Excuses have run out. Time is always running out. Among my drafts is a blog about the great outdoors from last November. I have come to accept that the staggers at the start are part of my approach to outdoor painting, and blogging! I just need to go with it rather than fight it.

Here are a few shots from recent outdoor excursions.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
“Semaphore sand”
There was so much to choose from at this venue, but I was dazzled by the sunlit white sand and those bleached blue-grey bushes. This is my first painting on rejoining my Fresh Air Friday outdoor friends late last year.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
“Garden Island” (version 1) started on a very grey day.
I indulged my love of purples and blues.

Garden Island v2
Back to complete the painting a week later – light totally different (of course).
Hence version 2. Still not complete – we might be back there next year or the year after… I have sometimes hung onto a painting for 2 years before returning to the spot. Many places are either deserted and a bit forbidding or too far away to travel to without friends at the other end. Being part of a group presents so many more opportunities than going solo outdoor painting.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
“Beach gate”
A balcony view (in progress).

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
This was my first ever actually down on the sand. A tiny bit more work to do here, resolving that high drama in the middle distance.
It was such a hot day. I made a quick decision after lunch, packed my wheelie kit and walked down to the beach. I had a hat and long-sleeved shirt, but forgot I was wearing shorts and sandals. After about twenty minutes I could feel my feet burning, so phoned home for emergency supply of sunscreen. How spoiled am I? A few weeks ago it was an extremely nice coffee (surprise) and last week this! Gave me another hour and a bit out there.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
“Rain on the way” was started on a stormy Friday morning when I chose to stay close to home. It was a sound decision, weather-wise. I had to make a real dash for it when the rain did arrive. You can see the vertical strokes of painted rain! To be continued later on another stormy morning…..

Perhaps it will be unrecognisable next time. Do you ever pick up a painting again after a long spell? Is it ever really the same painting or do you think there’s a point at which you actually need to start again?

18 thoughts on “Painting outdoors again

  1. I’m always picking up old, unfinished work with lofty ideas of inspired completion – more often that not though I end up repainting and beginning again. Good to see you back in the game Philippa – these are gorgeous and full of promise for immaculate completion…

    1. Retracing the decisions underlying the last brush stroke is the difficult part I think. Talking about lofty ideas, there’s a good example – immaculate completion! But thanks for your encouragement John.

  2. Well, staggering certainly works well for you Philippa and, whatever decision you make as to the magnificent “immaculate completion” it is so exhilarating to be out in the fresh air with you, looking over your shoulder and seeing what you create! Fabulous, all of them!

    1. Ooh your comments are uplifting Patti! thank you. I am looking at a streetscape from this morning. It was a bit lonely (couldn’t find the gang), but I am glad you were looking over my shoulder!

  3. Envious – I tried doing a quick sketch outdoors last week and nearly got frostbite in my hands! I have certainly been looking at old work to see where to go next. It can be a good starting point to work on old ideas.

  4. Philippa, I’m so excited for you to see so much new work – I love the “spur of the moment” feel to “Rain on the Way”. I realize you had little choice but to make quick strokes and take off for safety, but I like how much drama it seems to invoke in this painting! I know it’s unfinished but it seems worth a revisit. Would love to see where you decide to go with this one!

  5. I love those boats in “Garden Island”. I’ve got a thing for boats, I’ve noticed. Re picking up and finishing old projects . . . I hate to leave something unfinished, so if it’s not worth working on, the panel, if the painting is on a support like that, goes in a stack to be sanded down and reused. I started a portrait of my two granddaughters about three years ago, which I intend to finish before I die.

  6. Interesting to read your comments on light changing… I was talking to an artist friend who is very taken with the Spanish painter Antonio López García who sometimes waits years to complete a painting as he waits to catch the same light as when he started it! More lovely paintings, thank you.. I prefer Garden Island version 1!

    1. Oh dear! I carry more spare panels these days so am more able to start afresh, but might well have 2 unfinished instead of 1 as a result! It would be easy to lose the excitement after waiting for years.

      1. I know… he sounds quite an unusual man… when I’m writing I couldn’t leave it like that, even more difficult with a painting taking shape before your eyes!

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