Painting outdoors from life (known as ‘plein air’ painting) is something I do everyday in Africa, but in the USA I mostly work in my studio. I realized that I should be painting ‘en plein air’ all year round – to keep my skills sharp, to become familiar with different subject matter, and just because I love it. So in October 2020 I began a new project, Painting 10573. I paint a scene every week somewhere in my 10573 zip code, which encompasses the villages of Port Chester & Rye Brook in Westchester County, New York. Each painting starts with a drawing in pen, then I add watercolor. The paintings are 11×14″, take me 2 to 3 hours to complete, and are painted in transparent watercolor on paper. They will all be for sale soon – please read on for details.
When I started in October 2020 the weather was beautiful, warm and sunny, and the colors of the Fall foliage were stunning, so it was a lovely way to spend a few hours.
As it got colder I began to consider how I’d manage in the winter, and found that painting from the passenger seat of my car was perfect, although sometimes I was wrapped in a blanket because I didn’t want the car engine running. Painting from a car does have 1 issue though – where you can park dictates what you can see to paint, especially when it snows and the parking is limited by piles of snow.
Amazingly, spring arrived soon enough, and I was able to sit outside again – sometimes wearing a hat and sunscreen, sometimes wrapped in a coat. In the summer I’ll probably ending up painting sunsets and early morning scenes – to avoid the heat.
All these paintings will be for sale in the Fall of 2021 (when I finish the end of my year-long project) and a large percentage of the proceeds will be donated to Meals on Main Street, whose mission is to eliminate food insecurity in Port Chester and surrounding communities.
To learn more, please follow me on Instagram @painting10573 or join the Meals on Main Street mailing list.
And if you see me out painting, give me a wave!