Yesterday we went out in the evening for a foto shoot locally. There is always lots to shoot around here. For plein air painting we need to be quick. Things change fast. Those long late afternoon shadows move quickly across the landscape. The afternoon winds over the High Sierras move the clouds across the sky as if there was some sort of race going on. Sun spots move around the valley because of those frequent changes. Paint quick and loose or you just plain miss it. So I practice little sketches to try to capture the moment. There is always time to expand the thought back in the studio with a larger canvas. This is a 6x8 acrylic sketch.
We were trying to capture some wading birds with our cameras. The last time we went out they eluded us completely. This time we happen to see one out in the field next to the river. Seems like he was a little close to the nest of a local red-wing blackbird. The results were an acrobatic air chase with the black bird chasing that crane all over the sky. It's actually amazing how that awkward looking crane dipped and dived flying up and down to escape from the fast flying black bird. We got some interesting in-flight shots of the episode and I'm hoping to incorperate some of that into a painting or 2. Got a couple good shots of the black bird sitting on a fence post after the chase. I know the bird man, Willy, will appreciate all this.
There is a lot happening in your back yard. Go look at some of it today ... even if just for a moment ... and the fresh air and sunshine will do you a lot of good.