30x30x0.7 acrylic on craft paper and ply, framed in a simple pine float frame, wire on back, ready to hang
I have participated in The Strada Easel Challenge for a couple of years. Each January and September the challenge is to paint every day for the month en plein air/ or from life. I always used to paint en plein air and still mainly draw from life. It is easy to find excuses not to paint outside, especially in January in Queensland when it is hot and steamy. Strada is a worldwide challenge that has inspired me to get outside with my paints and make paintings on location. Painting in acrylic plein air was new to me. I use the same format for both months, a 30x30cm pice of gessoed craft paper every day. I keep my subject matter to a narrow parameter. In January I paint in the garden and this year didn't venture far from my back steps. I painted potted begonias and geraniums which sit on our wide back steps. I talked about how much I love geraniums in my Med Memories series. I also have a thing for begonias. My Dad would grow begonias every year for the pots and hanging baskets he took so much pride in. He would start them off in his greenhouse and then transfer them once the three of the final frost has vanished. When I left home for uni I took a potted begonia with me for my room in the halls. We would have them in the house during the winter months and I loved their spotted leaves and particular scent. My mother-in-law grew them in Bermuda and I would paint them en plein air. They would always be in the shade as too much sun made them " stalky". I also spent a few weeks happily sitting under a neighbour's grapefruit tree painting her begonias. I love that I have come back to them all be it in acrylic.