ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©
A brand new park has just emerged within a residential area of the city. Paul painted this walking, biking and hiking trail which is skirted by a little man made creek. At the time of the actual painting, there was to be a concert in the park. People were beginning to gather, but so were the clouds.
The sky filled with a dusky orange color and large mammatus clouds begin to appear. There was a moment of complete stillness. If you’ve ever experienced the signs of an approaching tornado, you know what I’m talking about. It’s almost like a call to take cover immediately, which you do if you have any common sense. Suddenly the wind picks up, stirring the sky and swooping down to lap up whatever lies in its path. You hear the roaring of what sounds like a locomotive bearing down on you. If you haven’t taken cover by this time, you’ve probably been carried off by the wind.
The storm clouds explode into torrential rain, which lasts for a short time and then all is still again. Sometimes the sky turns an eerie green before it all begins. In any event, Paul was able to gather up his paints, easel and canvas and make it safely home before the storm hit.
When you paint outdoors, you’re exposing yourself to the elements every step of the way. You can face windy conditions, when your pallet goes flying and your canvas hurls into a pile of dirt. You can try to capture the light, but too often it comes and goes before you can load your paintbrush. You must endure extremes in temperatures, rain and other conditions which can instantly ruin your canvas. I admire the painter who loves plein air, because a photograph can capture the scene, but a painting becomes the scene.