In Vancouver it's the Cherry Blossoms.
In Mexico, in particular, Lake Chapala, it's Jacaranda time. These very large trees are covered in purple flowers and the falling petals cover the roadways and side streets in carpets of purple.
I was invited to paint with a plein air group here today to try and capture the scenery and the color of purple. I've been painting indoors mostly because the weather hasn't been it's usual sunny self in these parts. The weather is more like a regular overcast day in Vancouver. However, it is definitely warmer and using watercolors on watercolor paper is a little more challenging. Everything dries so much quicker, looks brighter than it is and needs some getting used to.
Saying all that, it was great to be in the midst of other painters, easels out, paints in hand, floppy hats moving to the rhythm of the painters' brushes. Finding the right light and just an even spot to put the easel down wasn't simple. However, I did take a folding chair which made the 3 hours much more durable. We were in the shade of a very tall stone wall and that kept the early day cool and comfortable to work in. Getting up, every so often, to admire all the other painters work was so inspiring! Some were painting in acrylic, others in watercolors. Each person had a completely different feel and look of what it was that we had come to paint. One of the painters, Steve, was providing advice and suggesting that composition was an inclusion of shapes, not necessarily detail. I think this is an excellent reference, because it so easy to get caught up in the details and overwork the composition.
I posted the simple picture I created with the original scene in the background to the plein air painters facebook page. We'll see if it gets accepted to be posted. In the meantime, its good to be back to just painting rather than painting to a deadline for an art show. I picked up the last pieces from the ASA show after the plein air event. It felt good to enter the gallery and take the pieces off the wall, although it would have felt great if they had sold. Now on to more painting....