This is one of the last paintings done on our Men in Hats Tuesday plein-aire sessions. It is good practice to go out to an agreed upon spot and then have a limited amount of time to paint. Of course, within the location, we each choose exactly where to be and what to paint. This can be a bit of challenge sometimes. I thought I would enjoy the totem poles when we went to Stanley Park but they just didn't speak to me and I ended up doing some ink sketches instead of painting. Sometimes it takes a bit of looking around to find an appealing subject. We all have different ideas of what we like so it is good to have different locations. This time, the destination was 57th and the Boulevard, I decided I liked the way the light hit the window - and the reflections. However, while it was sunny and the sun was on the window, I ended up sitting in the shade with a bit of wind. Fortunately, there was a nearby coffee shop and I warmed up with a hot chocolate. Painting outdoors, for our group, has pretty well ground to a halt until May - and we are having studio sessions on Tuesdays instead. Some people are finishing up paintings that were started - but not fully completed - in an outdoor session. The practice of painting outdoors started around the time of the Impressionists. The then-new availability of paints in tubes made paints more readily portable. Before that, paints had to be ground and mixed with oil, a rather cumbersome set-up to cart out to a field. Not to mention that an assistant would be needed to do the grinding of pigments and mixing while the artist painted. Now, most of us have folding easels and stools and something with wheels to help transport paint box, easel and palette.... and lots of paints all in tubes. - and a handy coffee shop is always a bonus!
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