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  • Writer's pictureWendy Clarke

Jumping Rock

When I first began painting the learning curve was a vertical line going north to south. I was painting en plein air. Simply speaking I was painting outdoors. This was by far my most foolish thinking. I took a 5 foot by 3 foot canvas in a small aluminum boat with a 6 speed motor on it. I had a friend drive the boat while I held onto the canvas.

The ride to the jumping rock was uneventful. We docked at a small island across from the rock unload the paints and canvas. While my friend relaxed I took on the role of artist. Wetting the canvas was easy I dipped it right in the water and began adding paint as needed. It was a calm day which switched to gusting winds quite quickly. During one of those gusts the canvas that had been perched on natural easel, took off and landed in the pine needles and dirt. The painting was now mixed media in nature.

Deciding not to leave more painting to chance we packed up and began the boat ride back to the cottage. The gusts plus the direction of travel resulted in another incident that resulted in both of us wearing the wet paint from the canvas. Tempers got dicey because my decision to take the large canvas was not well thought through. It became clear why artists sketched on small boards and replicated those small works onto large canvases later in studio. After the boating incident I put this painting aside for years before finishing it.

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