On a trip to Edisto Beach State Park in October, our plein air group checked in late in the after noon and set up to do some quick paintings before dinner. I was attracted by the sun low on the horizon backlighting the trees along the edge of the marsh. The glow of the translucent leaves and the long shadows would make a good painting. I was too tired to stand at my easel as I usually do, so I found a spot on the bench of a picnic table.
All was quiet as I started painting. Before long, one of the other painters came over and sat down for a chat. I enjoyed talking while I was painting although I was a bit distracted. Then another friend came over and sat down on the other side of me. I started to move my bag, but she said not to because it wasn’t bothering her. Too bad it was in the way of my elbow. Then others came with drinks and chips and salsa and started discussing dinner plans and texting the folks who hadn’t arrived yet. Soon we were sharing travel stories and painting techniques as artists tend to do. Naturally, we all talked at once.
I gave up on painting with my work about two thirds done, but I had enough information to finish it the next morning. Now when I look at this painting, I not only see the beauty of the low country sunset, but also remember the warmth of relaxing with a group of friends. It’s that type of experience that keeps me painting en plein air. Cheers!