Just had a life-changing experience, and one I would recommend to anyone interested in drawing or painting. My dear sister Roisin has been telling me for years to go outside and paint, known as Plein Air Painting in the art world, and man was she ever right! It’s a multi-sensory pursuit, and one that is infinitely satisfying. My mother and I just spent 7 days in Wexford, in the sunny south-east of Ireland, painting with roughly 150 other artists at various venues around the county. Organized by a local group named Art in the Open, they have to be the most relaxed yet well-organized people, friendly and welcoming, and mad about plein air!
From fishing villages such as Ballyhack, to the ancient village of Graignemanagh, to Huntington Castle set in the most magical gardens I have ever seen, to Courtown beach and plenty more besides, we set up our easels daily and got to work. The fun of plein air is that you are OUTSIDE! So sun, showers, breeze, insects, interested locals, questioning kids and dogs, all is a part of it, the most memorable of all probably being the wind that did its best to blow my easel away, but as you hold your canvas with one hand and paint with the other, precious controlled brush strokes haven’t a chance and what happens is fun and surprising! The piece above was painted very quickly indeed as the sun was out, but it was so blustery I expected rain and the light to change – a constant occurrence – and I also thought the tide might be on its way in soon….