When John came home for the Christmas holiday on the 21st December, we decided to try and do one plein-air painting each day during the holidays. It was sometimes difficult to find the time with all the busy organization around Christmas but we managed to achieve it pretty successfully. I think there was one day, that was just too busy, for me to go out with John, so he did 2 sessions on that day, alone. It was a really enjoyable experience! I will add the paintings in the order of the days of the challenge, and please note that my paintings are on the left, while John’s are on the right: –
Day 1. 22 Dec. The Garden Artichoke in flower.
Day 2. 23 Dec. These are both John’s paintings. Pen and ink and watercolour.
Day 3. 24 Dec. A scene facing north, from the road outside my studio. A nice shady spot to sit.
Day 4. 25 Dec. Christmas Day. A very windy day made this a challenging task. The old pepper tree leaning against the pig-stys.
Day 5. 26 Dec. Boxing Day. We took the truck to a spot at the entrance to our farm. It was also windy there, but such a beautiful view down the valley towards Spitskop and the distant Freestate hills.
Day 6. 27 Dec. Went to Excelsior, a distant part of the farm, for a lunch braai (barbeque). We painted from the same place but chose different scenes.
Day 7. 28 Dec. Painting in the big shed. The old wool scale etc. A nice change from the endless green vistas.
Day 8. 29 Dec. Took the truck again, up to the little dam where reeds grow and the bird-life is fantastic. We were serenaded by a variety of water fowl and nesting weavers. We even had a Leguaan pass by. We managed to find a small spot on the dam wall, in the shade of a white stinkwood tree.
Day 9. 30 Dec. Painted in the farmyard near the shed. We were well attended by many curious sheep, who investigated all our painting equipment, and sought shade under my painting table.
Day 10. 31 Dec. Took the truck up to the fountain. A small lush area where a spring occurs naturally and there are many trees, long grass and reeds. It was a beautiful quiet spot. We both planned to paint the dead tree in front of us, as a contrast to the background. John worked on the dead tree and ran out of time, so he gave an impressionist view of the background. I started on the background and the detail took up all my time leaving me no time for the dead tree !
Day 11. New Year’s Day. 2012. In the shade of 2 ample gum trees, we sat, to draw the scene facing east. However we chose a slightly different aspect so the only element that we have in common, was the orangey soil of the potato land in the foreground.
Day 12. 2 January. Painting in the shady north doorway of the big shed, facing north. John started on the sheep lying just infront of us, which soon moved away, so his first attempt remained a simple tinted drawing. I avoided the sheep and concentrated on the scene beyond. John then turned slightly and did a nice pen, ink and wash view of the garage and store room. No oils on that day.
Day 13. 3 January. Our last official day of painting. We went to a spot in the shade of the pig-stys, and painted the Agave aloes on the end of the dam wall. The curious sheep came visiting once again.
Most of John’s paintings were done in oils whereas mine were all watercolour. You may like to go across and visit John’s Blog for more of his beautiful work, and his own interpretation of the challenge. He managed to fit in 3 extra pictures when I was busy with cooking and other chores, here are they are:
Here are a few photos taken during the daily outings:
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