Author Topic: Plein air painting by bicycle in winter  (Read 443 times)

Andre Jute

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Plein air painting by bicycle in winter
« on: January 06, 2021, 01:17:53 PM »

This is the bike of Mark McLaughlin, who paints outside (plein air painting) even in winter. He carries a half-size French travelling easel in his pannier, which looks to me like the Brooks roll-up canvas pannier, though I didn't know they came in that pale a colour.. Erected, a French easel looks like a full-size easel with a case built in with a drawer inside. (It's not actually a pochade box, which doesn't have legs built in, but the purpose is the same.) Scroll down in the article linked for pictures, including another picture of his bike in summer at the bottom:
https://www.jacksonsart.com/blog/2020/12/24/plain-air-painting-winter/
Interesting article. Of course, winters in the South of England are generally not as nasty as in Canada or Oregon or Wisconsin or even Scotland in a bad year.

And here are photos of a plain air expedition by bike of mine: I use a Basil pannier basket, which is open at the top, because I live in a mainly crime-free area.
http://coolmainpress.com/andrepaintings/cleanbicyclepaintingexpedition.html
The Basil pannier basket, besides its convenience and carrying capacity, is highly recommend as a buffer between your bike and careless Range Rover drivers.

We've discussed other aspects of painting expeditions by bicycle before at http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=13745.0
« Last Edit: January 06, 2021, 01:29:33 PM by Andre Jute »

brummie

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Re: Plein air painting by bicycle in winter
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2021, 09:51:25 PM »
Thanks for sharing.
 

PH

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Re: Plein air painting by bicycle in winter
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2021, 10:03:04 PM »
Yes, thanks from me as well.  I've just skimmed it, but bookmarked to go back later.

John Saxby

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Re: Plein air painting by bicycle in winter
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2021, 06:20:27 PM »
Love the benign green ground!  Peinture en plein air indeed; mais rien comme ša chez nous, mon vieux.

We're still bogged down in early-December transition weather -- thin layer of wet snow, grey skies, mixed precip.  :(

There are reports of slightly colder days ahead, with sun and blue skies.  Maybe a photo?  Went for a walk along the river a coupla days ago: it's still almost entirely open, the entire land- and skyscape a discouraging gamut of grey.  Blue and white with a piercing sun, you ask?  A chimera -- the old folks tell tales about those days...

Andre Jute

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Re: Plein air painting by bicycle in winter
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2021, 11:08:01 PM »
There are reports of slightly colder days ahead, with sun and blue skies.  Maybe a photo?  Went for a walk along the river a coupla days ago: it's still almost entirely open, the entire land- and skyscape a discouraging gamut of grey.

One of the reasons i like Ireland a lot is that so often it is overcast, and the temperature picks up a couple degrees, maybe even Celsius, and the drizzle of "a soft day" is light enough to ignore -- it just rolls off wool clothes with the lanolin still in it, and even the cottons I prefer don't soak through all that fast if they're closely woven. (Trivia: Celsius is a boy's name here, though I've run only into one example in forty years, a charming fellow who worked for the Council.) I'm very fair skinned and burn easily, even in Ireland, and that added to the cold of a sunny day, makes the overcast day my favourite. Returning to the subject of painting expeditions by bicycle, decades ago I brought a client to play golf in Ireland and, because the client was a cultured man, brought along one of my art directors. The art director won a bet that he could name a thousand different greens we saw. He also said that while the sunlight colours were more saturated, the overcast colours were more subtly graded. I didn't paint at the time, and before that I'd painted portraits, not landscapes, but suddenly I saw that the overcast colours and gradations and perspectives in Ireland were far more rewarding than the bright sunshiny ones.This was a dozen or so years before I came to live here, but when we did, at a dull dawn at Rosslare, as we came off the ferry from France, I saw the sun rise behind the clouds, and remembered, and turned the car south towards the sun, deciding in that moment to settle near the southernmost decent university which turned out an inspired decision. Later I painted a symbology of that moment:

andre_jute_offertory_and_sundial__rosscarbery_2017_watercolor_on_octavo_ingres_800pxw.jpg

John Saxby

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Re: Plein air painting by bicycle in winter
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2021, 04:06:28 PM »
Nicely said, Andre, and illustrated too  :)  You're right about the softness of the light and air, and the subtle variations of greys and greens.  I think there's something, too, about much of the landscape of Ireland and the UK -- the variety of landforms in a relatively small geographic space.

"Soft" isn't a word I often use in describing our climate & weather here in Eastern Ontario -- I've used it in BC's lower mainland and on Vancouver Island, but here, er, not so much.

So on my midweek trek along the river, I thought about a photo, but then decided agin it -- it would've shown a sweep of dark grey, the open river, lined with darker grey-to-black trees on either side.  Sometimes, the scale of the landscape intensifies the effect: the river is nearly a kilometre wide at this point.

But, what a difference a day or two makes! The wind shifted from the SW to the NW, banishing soggy grey days and damp winds, and bringing brilliant and unclouded blue skies, brisk winds, a strong bright SUN, and daytime highs around -8. 

But here's the thing:  Those temps of -8, even with windchill, couldn't dispel the warmth of a sun that's noticeably higher in the sky.  For much of our Friday walk, I didn't even bother with gloves.  With this uncompromising continental climate, I sometimes forget that Ottawa is only a couple of degrees of latitude above Marseille, & essentially the same as Milan.  A bright mid-January sun lifts the spirits.

But keep those midwinter watercolours coming, eh?

Andre Jute

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Re: Plein air painting by bicycle in winter
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2021, 04:28:40 AM »
Minus eight on any scale is a temperature I prefer to view through glass with a glass of mulled wine my hand and my backside firmly planted on a leather chair right close to the fire, listening to a hard man's tales of bicycling adventures.

Jokes aside, in this wretched black death I miss the painting rides and even the shopping rides, just the routine of getting out on the bike most days.

Never mind the grand geography and topology, I have favourite contours -- ridges I like to ride on when the wind across the valleys isn't too fierce -- and favourite enveloping valleys to shelter in from the weather, and even a favourite tree that I'm sure pines away -- heh-heh -- because I haven't visited in nearly a year.

I talk to the trees, but they don't listen to me -- line from a famous song. We don't appreciate our privileges until we lose them.


John Saxby

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Re: Plein air painting by bicycle in winter
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2021, 03:32:38 PM »
Quote
a favourite tree that I'm sure pines away

Yer firgiven fir that, b'y...

One the the reassuring qualities of our typically brief spring is that after winter's prolonged dormancy, even the conifers are spruced up.

[Ed. note: Make it stop, please make it stop!]