Daffodil Season

I'm back to work from spring break, and since it was such a beautiful day yesterday I decided to kick off the week with a little plein air painting at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. It is a great place to visit and paint! Tulips are everywhere right now, but there were a ton of people visiting yesterday. And since I had gotten a late start and needed to set up quickly,  I wanted to avoid setting up in high traffic  spots and those completely devoid of shade. So no tulips. However,  I found a lovely spot (with shade) in a quieter area of the gardens near the Bloomenthal House profuse with daffodils and pansies:

Plein air garden painting by Jennifer E Young

"Daffodil Season" Oil on panel, 8x10" Click here for more info. To purchase, please contact me!

It's pretty gray and rainy this morning, so I may need to re-photograph this when I have a bit more natural light. I had about an hour and a half to work on this painting, and then it was time to close up shop and pick up my daughter from preschool. But  was such a beautiful day in the gardens, that I returned with my daughter to share with her my enjoyment of this beautiful place.

Another garden plein air

Here is this week's plein air effort, once again at the botanical gardens:

plein air garden floral painting by Jennifer Young

It's incomplete as I started late and had to close shop before the two-hour mark. It was a beautiful morning, but the light quickly shifted from sun to overcast clouds, making my previously well delineated, high contrast subject suddenly a muddled mass of leaves and confusion.

Or maybe it was just my mind that was muddled? Every so often the light would peek back out, but not quite often enough to provide the kind of clarity I needed. In any case, this is as far as I got before I had to call it quits and pay the babysitter.

I painted this general location some time ago, though the arrangement (and light) was different. I had planned on painting another setting, but a large group was visiting the gardens this morning and had taken over my spot, foiling my plans.

Being short on time I decided to take another stab at this scene. I'm not sure if I will finish this piece. I may just treat it as an artifact of the morning's experience to learn from as I look forward to the next outing.

Plein air with the birds!

I spent two and a half hours yesterday morning literally contemplating the birds and bees at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. And of course, painting (which is the reason for this post!) I have watched this garden grow over the years that I have lived nearby, and it has become one of my favorite places to wander and paint. In fact, it has recently been awarded one of the "top 10 gardens worth traveling for" , and I feel really fortunate to be just down the road. At the far end of the garden, through the "woodland walk", one can come upon this little scene; it is a sanctuary for birds, butterflies, bees, and maybe even a human or two:

"Garden Sanctuary" Oil on Canvas, 12x9" Click here for more info!

I have really missed plein air painting. It takes me beyond "production mode" and more deeply into the experience of painting nature. After yesterday's session I made a resolution; my goal for the next 60 days is to paint en plein air once a week. There may be a week here and there that my mommy duties will have to take precedence, but generally speaking I think this is a manageable goal. So if you notice me falling off task, you have my permission to nag, or slap me with a wet noodle--your choice! ;-)