Diana Probst, Cambridge Artist

Open Air Painting: Methodist Chapel

Partly painted chapel against a blue skyToday’s painting was created on location. (This is often known as ‘plein air’ painting. If you invent Impressionism, you get to set the language of the lexicon.) I set up at the top of Victoria Avenue. (People not in Cambridge: It’s got trees on, and a roundabout at the end. It’s next to some green bits.) I brought everything I thought I would need, and took notes as to what was missing. One of the advantages of painting here is that it was right around the corner from an art store, so if I’d forgotten anything I could go buy it.

I also brought a Sith Apprentice, or at least arranged to meet one there. I’ve been co-painting with a student for the past couple of weeks, and she set up next to me. A buddy is a fantastic idea for when you need to leave the easel for lunch, or to go look at a detail. They’re also good to talk to about art, and I enjoyed that part of it as much as the painting.

The first bit of preparation for this began two weeks ago, when we painted plain skies. We both started off with a gradated blue sky against which to put our painted object, meaning we didn’t have to take time doing it, and the roof and tree line would not be blurred into blue. Onto that, we painted a sketch in ultramarine. Any translucent thinnable colour would do. I’d use burned umber, but I forgot to bring any.

I started out with the dark greens, then lighter greens on top. I painted mostly left to right and top to bottom, filling in the dark colours and then going over it with the lighter colours. I’ll critique the end result in a later post, but here it is:

Methodist Chapel, Victoria Avenue, oil on board