Monday, June 08, 2015
Today I am grateful for chance encounters. While driving the battlefields of Gettysburg and stopping at lookouts to take pictures, I stumbled upon Lon Brauer, an artist deeply occupied creating a plein air painting.
Because I am an artist myself, I often find myself deeply focused on either my writing or painting. You might talk to me, but that doesn’t mean I hear you. I waited for him to look up before asking if I could take a picture. Then the chatting began. . .stranger/new friend chatting, about art and medium and method. Lon was using oils and a pallet knife. I have never use a pallet knife to mix paint so I was fascinated and watched him for a long time. But it doesn’t really take long to recognize true talent.
I have never painted in an abstract way, but I sure do appreciate those who can. I have only once painted plein air (outside-to the novices). It was difficult to hone in on one location from the vista in front of me, not to mention battling the changing lighting and disappearing shade. I finished fast once the blazing sun was frying me.
Before we moved on, Lon told me he was turning his easel to paint another scene, before the developing storm clouds opened up. “That’s an interesting sky over there,” I said, pointing to the rolling, angry clouds. “Yes,” he answered, “But just look at how the fences criss-cross the field. That’s what I find interesting about it.” Fences? I hadn’t even noticed them. Good eye.
I have a ways to go, but from now on I’m going to look at vistas a little differently. . .just in case I decide to venture into plein air again. And maybe there will be another chance encounter if I do.