Daily painting #43: Great Falls

Time to renew my annual visitor’s pass for Great Falls National Park! It was a gorgeous day today: sunshine, low humidity, no clouds, and a strong breeze that is unusual for Washington summers. I hiked from the Visitor’s Center to the overlook trail, then found this view of the river. It was one of the few times that I didn’t have to alter the scene to suit the composition: everything was already placed just so.

That said, the conditions were a bit challenging. I painted “contre jour,” into the sun; you can see this from the angle of the shadows. As the afternoon wore on, I had increasing difficulty seeing my canvas. Bugs were biting. And I was set up on a somewhat rocky slope, and my feet hurt after a while. So when I got back to civilization, I found a few stray marks on the canvas that I hadn’t noticed. But to maintain this piece’s status as a pure “plein air” work, I have left those marks where I put them. :)

Geoff Watson, “Great Falls,” June daily painting # 12, oil on linen, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “Great Falls,” June daily painting # 12, oil on linen, 8” x 10,” 2019.

Daily painting #33: Yacht

I had my most enjoyable day of painting of the year! My family and I traveled to the Chesapeake to enjoy a party with friends and relatives, and I brought along the paints. This yacht was sitting in the late-afternoon light, just begging to be painted. So I obliged it! There was a pleasant south breeze, temperature in the low-80s, sunshine, good food, and lots of friendly party-goers wandering up to my easel to chat.

It was one of those paintings that felt right after the first 10 minutes. I sketched in the hull, leaving the light bit unpainted, and I knew right away I'd be happy with the composition. It may not be perfect, but it sure was fun.

Geoff Watson, “The Yacht,” June daily painting #2, oil on panel, 9” x 12,” 2019.

Geoff Watson, “The Yacht,” June daily painting #2, oil on panel, 9” x 12,” 2019.