Terry Miura • Studio Notes

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sonoma Plein Air - Day 3

Gray Day On The Marshes, 11 x 14

When I awoke, it was alreay 8 O'clock. WTF!? I must have been really tired. I showered and got dressed quickly, and ran out the door, only to find out it was raining! Damnit.

I can paint in rain, but I'd rather not. I wanted to do more back-lit town things, so this changes my plans. First thing's first. I got my custard danish and coffee.

It was windy, too. And chilly. I headed out toward the marshes to maybe do a gray marshy painting. I've actually done many marsh paintings on gray moody days, so it wasn't a matter of whether I could do it or not.

But it wasn't what I planned for so my enthusiasm was less than optimal, and consequently, I struggled. I used the hatchback of my SUV as rain shelter, and bundled up to keep out the cold (still, my fingers were frozen!) and managed to finish a painting. I'm not sure if I like it. I think I'll have to do more work on it before I can show it.

The pic I'm posting is the "before" version. I added more subtle lights in the clouds, and worked on the foreground color a bit. I forgot to take the "after" picture, though. And the painting is sold so now it's too late. Sorry.

An American Eatery, 12 x 16

In the afternoon, the rain let up and the sun came back. I thought now would be the time to go back to the Fremont Diner to paint the old truck there. I did this location last year, and I've subsequently painted it a few more times from photos. This year, I wanted to try it back lit. The sun was still very high up, but it looked back lit enough, so I set up and got to work. I also wanted to be less literal with the colors, but that proved to be very difficult with this particular truck, whose colors (rusty red and peeling off pale green paint) are one of the its defining characteristics. I did what I could, and I'm pretty happy with it. I allowed myself to edit a lot more in the background this time, too. This is when I realized that I am making progress with my craft, though most of the time I feel like I'm stuck and not getting better. It's good to return to same motifs from time to time so you can plainly see your progress. I highly recommend it.

If I don't do anything better this week, this one will be the one to go to the gala auction to be judged by my peers. Having the auction piece done, I felt I could relax and go do something easier, or experimental, or whatever.

45, 9 x 12

I still had hours of daylight left so I went to a side road and did one of my road themed paintings. Again, back lit. I'm in this back lit kick, can you tell? I don't have a whole lot of cast shadows in this one so it's not a whole lot different from my usual front or side lit landscapes, but that's fine. I tried not to overdo the atmosphere, and it came out just as I imagined.

Beer after the workin' day's done with buddies. And then off to bed early so I won't be getting up at 8 O'clock in the morning. Except I might, because I'm typing this before going to bed and it looks like I'm not really going to be going to bed early. Haha~


  1. Ah, the Plein air show experience! The only one I'm doing this year is SLO. I really like the gray day marsh painting. :-). Enjoy your week.

  2. I'm glad I saw the marsh painting before you sold it Saturday. I might have a photo of it - but it would only be a small image. I'm sure someone else out there might have one too. Your changes to the sky area really paid off!

  3. I was fortunate enough to see your marsh painting before you sold it - I loved it. Also, your American Eatery with the old truck. Had fun over in Sonoma viewing all of the paintings even though it was a chilly, blustery day.

  4. Looks like you're having a great week of plein air painting, Terry - great work each day, and that's gotta feel good. I especially like the simple composition and subtle color of the the marsh painting, and this sunny roadside painting is a favorite as well. Beautiful work!