Sunday, June 26, 2016

Painting in the Park: My Plein Air Paintings (Part One)

This summer I've been having a lot of fun in downtown Chicago taking a class through the Art Institute's continuing education program. The class is a plein air painting class that takes place in various parks around the city. We start a new painting every class (it meets twice a week for three hours a class) so they're not completely finished works, but I wanted to show off some of the things I've been working on in my class.

I've had a lot of crazy experiences being in the city by myself, but I think it's worth it for the quantity of work I'm creating that I'll be able to go back into and complete later. The painting shown above is one that I'm pretty proud of. It's not very obvious, but this is in Grant Park with the sailboats on Lake Michigan in the background. Since my boyfriend is a little obsessed with sailboats, I want to go back to this spot later on and do a painting that focuses on the sailboats so I can give it to him when I get back up to college.

This painting is also done in Grant Park and the photo was an in progress one, so it's actually a bit further along than shown. A couple that was walking by offered to buy this particular painting, but it wasn't nearly done and I didn't want to part with it yet. My brother is still bothering me about how I gave up a chance to make some money off of my artwork.

These paintings are acrylic paint because I take the train into the city, so carrying solvents for oil paint isn't that convenient and oils don't dry fast enough for me to carry the paintings back home at the end of class. I'm having a good time working with acrylics and while they aren't as traditional as oils, they're working for me at this point in my art career in terms of convenience.

For my painting class, I had to buy a whole bunch of fancy new art supplies that I was super excited about. I may be doing some product reviews of the new supplies in future blog posts, so be on the look out for those. I'm also going to make sure that I take some photos of my other paintings from class to share them with you guys because I'm just having a really fun time painting!

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