Plein Air Painting at Old World Wisconsin


Koeppel Barn, Old World Wisconsin, 8×10

Okay, I’ve been busy making some modifications — read “improvements” — to my house lately, resulting in not that much plein air painting, but I did drive down to Old World Wisconsin in Eagle to reconnoiter about a month ago.  I’d been there numerous times when my daughter was young, but it was a pleasure to return after years…..I formed the plan to come down and paint AND I FOLLOWED THROUGH!

First let me say, the color in the above photograph is skewed  towards the magenta.  When I paint soil, it isn’t pure Terracotta, especially when I’m painting Wisconsin soil.  The painting is better than the photograph of it, but this is just a Blog.  One of these days I will become interested enough in photography to accurately reproduce the colors in a painting.  (Actually, it could come down to replacing equipment.  I used to take pictures with a Rebel XTi, but am now using a little point-and-shoot I bought for my trip to Santorini and Crete.  I’m finding it tends towards overexposure.)

Anyway, I rigged this Plein Air Wagon out of an old golf club caddy, rubber bungee cords and old 5 gallon paint buckets.  I had to carry my easel, wet panel carrier and pallette over my shoulder and under my arm, but I could walk quite a distance with this rig.

Plein Air Wagon

Plein Air Wagon

In the end, I used only the lower bucket, fastened with a bungee cord.  I couldn’t stabilize the upper bucket.  I’m still working on the problem.  You can see it next to me on location below with one bucket only.  Notice that the handle of the caddy isn’t

Plein Air Painting Koeppel Farm

Plein Air Painting Koeppel Farm

pointing straight up.  The first day, I had the handle straight up, making the bucket almost horizontal when I pulled it.  Almost all the mineral spirits in my solvent container leaked out.  I changed the angle of the handle.

I stayed overnight with my sister-in-law, Barb, and returned the next day.

Actually, the painting above as well as the picture of me painting are both from the second day.  The first day was very hot and I neglected to bring a compass to clue me in as to which way the sun would go.  I set up in front of the Danish Pedersen Farm, thinking the shadows would lengthen towards my location,….but they didn’t.  I stood and painted in the hot sun with perspiration trickling down my face….And I hate that…!

Pedersen Danish Farm, 1890s, 8x10

Pedersen Danish Farm, 1890s, 8×10

So, I’m giving myself credit for persevering.  It’s a new future for me, involving discomfort.  I’m forcing myself to embrace it!