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Painting 'en plein air'

I am definitely a fair weather sailor and the same applies to painting outdoors! During the summer months I have made most of my paintings in this way, as well as doing lots of quick sketches, which will inform much of my work back in the studio.

However, the fair weather rule is often broken when I take part in Paintout Norfolk, which I did a few weeks ago. This is my first effort, painted in wind and rain and showing a view of Norwich Cathedral. I thought I'd packed my materials so carefully, but found I hadn't got any white, which I use a lot. I did have a very pale yellow, so I used that instead and was quite pleased with the result. Always learning!

During Paintout there is quite a lot of pressure, as work is curated at the end of each day for a large exhibition, which this year showed work by over 100 artists. Paintings have to be completed on site, with no preparatory work, revisions or additions. It is a positive challenge and makes me work much faster. This is my view of the beautiful house at Sennowe Park, painted on a very windy and blustery morning.

Another day and again the weather was against us, with strong, gusty winds and rain on the way. The view looking west along the quay at Wells next the Sea was lit up by bursts of sunlight through the clouds and I worked really quickly to get my impressions onto the canvas as the tide went out. It poured with rain as I finished this one off and I had to blot the water off the oily surface when I got back to the car.

Working outside like this can be exhausting, but is so worthwhile and I love the feedback from other artists and passers by. I meet some lovely people every time I do this. So, a bit of relaxation and recovery time and then back out again.

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