With summer winding down and school and teaching starting, my life changes into a whirlwind of chaos for a few months. I have a large yard with many areas that need tending to, and since my son decided to get married in the backyard this October, it is even more pressing this year. Harvesting a large garden, bottling the fruit of our labors and then winterizing everything. It creates a busy, busy time. Sometimes, I feel lost and frustrated because I don’t have time to paint. I am grateful for what I have, so this is not a complaint, just a frustration on my part that I need to better manage.
Hopefully things will calm down and the colors of fall will find themselves on my palette and in my paintings. I have gained a new appreciation for Plein Air painting this summer and I want to paint outdoors more and more. For those of you who have never ventured outside to paint, I encourage you to just go try. Go with a friend, go by yourself, just go! Listen to what is around you, soak up the sights and smells. On one occasion this summer the birds were singing in a tree right next to where I was set up. It was wonderful to be serenaded while I painted a beautiful farm scene. On another occasion, I sat next to a river and enjoyed the quiet peaceful sound of the water as it gently ran by. While at Flaming Gorge with my family this year, I sat and painted a colorful sunset as my children and their children played, talked, and relaxed. This was one of my favorite times. Similarly, to what happens in the studio, paintings either work out or they don’t, but the experience of painting them is enriched by being outside. Try not to let the fall colors escape you. Go out and paint!