by Vickie Wilson
St. Patrick's Day morning was full of sunshine as three local painters met on the Holt Farm property near Holly Springs. George Howe, Flora Pinkham, and Vickie Wilson plied their skills with cold fingers for several hours painting en plein air, or outdoors.
George chose to paint the old red barn beside Cass Holt Road. It is very difficult to paint with the sun directly on your painting surface and get the right values, but this was the angle he wanted.
Flora drew a crowd of curious calves as she used a sketch to plan the layout of her painting.
Flora stood sideways to her subject, the shed on the right, in order to eliminate the direct sunlight on her painting board. Vickie set up to paint the same shed, but she was in dappled light at first and more shade toward the end.
George's barn painting nailed the colors and values he was after. With many years of experience, he was able to compensate for the brilliant sunlight on his work.
Flora's shed turned out beautifully. She tweaked the colors a bit to help the shed stand out as a focal point. To the eye, the colors and values of the shed seemed almost the same as the tree patterns surrounding it.
Vickie shortened the slope to the right of the scene to create a more interesting composition. She also made the emerging dogwood blossoms more prominent to give contrast to the right side of the shed.
A special thanks to Joel Holt for allowing us access to his private property. These three plan to paint more local vistas during 2017. If you would like to join us, or if you know of places we could get permission to paint, please contact Vickie Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below.