The Richmond Art Center (RAC) offered a short Plein Air painting class this summer with Ned Axthelm. I got started a a little late, but once on board, I enjoyed the afternoon painting and the sites proved to be challenging while also close to home. As always, the trick is to pick your picture quickly and get started. For me this is the hardest part, so I am extremely aware of any signal or reaction from something I’m viewing telling me – “Paint This!”. Often I search for the shade and see what’s available from it’s protection. Also a good wind block is a good idea. The paintings I’ve included above were finished with an additional session at home. I tried to leave the locations with paint covering the whole canvas, and an idea of where I wanted to show light and shadow areas. Of course I took several photos for reference. The class had very motivated and skilled people in it and I picked up much from the sharing sessions that concluded each week. I think I finally figured out that if you show strong light areas next to very dark shadows, it will read that it is a sunny day. I have been trying to show that for awhile. The Albany Bulb picture was in a very sunny setting, but it needs more very bright areas to help it look sunnier. It was windy, and I think the silver grass leaves help to show that.