Sunday, February 26, 2012

Plein Air Painting

We seemed to have skipped our Winter here in Florida. Day after day it's sunny and mild. What's an adventurous artist to do? Go outside with your paints and do a little plein air painting. Plein air is simply a French term that means art outdoors. We're lucky enough to have preserves tucked in every area in Palm Beach County. In September last year, the City of Wellington opened up the Wellington Environmental Preserve at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Everglades Habitat. Now, that's a mouthful. Consequently, everyone just calls it Section 24, which is what it was called for decades when it was an undeveloped piece of land on the west side of Wellington.

Four of us brought our chairs, easels or tables, paints, brushes, and canvases, and set out to paint what we saw. We are trained painters, not-so-trained painters, acrylic painters, and a watercolorist.

As you can see, we all came up with different paintings, yet we were all looking at the same view. I'm glad we didn't have the same results!

Tony created this with acrylics.

I also used acrylics, and infused some brighter colors to exaggerate what I was seeing.

Bobbin used watercolors.

Linda painted with acrylics, mostly using her palette knife.

If you'd like to visit Section 24 for your own plain air painting, photography, birdwatching or hiking, you can find it by traveling west on Southern Blvd. After the Binks Forest traffic light, continue west to your first left. Take that left, which is Flying Cow Road. Travel 3 1/2 miles south to the northern entrance of the preserve. There is also a southern entrance, but there are no restroom facilities there. It is a .8 mile walk over two boardwalks to the trellis area where we pitched our chairs and easels. For a 1 mile walk, you can visit and climb the observation tower. Since this area was reclaimed, it needs time for the planted trees to grow. It is already populated by quite a few species of birds.

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