I feel fortunate to live near the Niagara River. In fact, because I live on an island, I am surrounded by the river. No matter which direction I go, eventually, I will reach the river. On Friday, I headed south to Beaver Island State Park for a plein air painting class, organized by George Smith of the Grand Island Historical Society. Plein air means painting outside. The sky was gray and forboding. Was painting outdoors really the best idea?
Shortly after my friend and adopted brother Curt picked me up, it started to pour. I was happy about the rain because we’ve been experiencing drought conditions here in Western New York but I was not too thrilled with the timing of that rainfall.
Fortunately, I knew that the instructor, Terry Klaaren, a professional artist who lives in Florida, was planning to teach the weather even in inclement weather. If it were to rain too hard for us to paint outdoors, we could always use one of the park’s picnic shelters.
Once we started painting, however, it had stopped raining. At one point, I felt a single raindrop while I painted but that was it. There were about twenty students and we all looked toward the river as we painted. Our painting was to include the sky, the river, the trees, and the weeds. We started with the sky. The paint that you use to make the sky is a mixture of white and blue. You paint until you reach the horizon line. Above is my painting with the sky added.