Some time ago I tagged along with my artist husband to experience, first hand, what it’s like to paint outdoors. Most of these excursions don’t produce final masterpieces, but are more of a study in light, shadows, feeling the environment and a compilation of sketches for future reference.
It was a cloudy afternoon, with a sky filled with the threat of some interesting weather. We arrived at the beautiful winery, complete with grapes and an apple orchard. Miles and miles of various colors of green everywhere. Interspersed with picnic tables and outstanding bronze sculptures, it was the perfect place to set up an easel and get out the paints.
I didn’t bring my paints along this time. Paul was painting with a group of professional artists and I knew I couldn’t begin to compete, so I sat back and watched. Soon those nasty clouds filled the sky and raindrops starting falling. Many of the artists had umbrellas which covered their easels, but my artist continued to endure the elements. They were just sketches, he said.
The rain continued, but never amounted to much more than a sprinkle. I was beginning to see just how dedicated this man is to his craft. He didn’t blink an eye as raindrops fell upon the watercolor sketches. Watercolor is apparently very forgiving. Many of the artists had been there since early morning, so they packed up and went on their way. A few die-hard painters remained.
By the end of the event, the sun was shining and new brilliance adorned the landscape. “Perfect light,” he said. I almost didn’t join him in this adventure, but it was a chance to be together and I really enjoyed watching him delve into his work. The beauty of it all was worth it too.
God blesses us with these special times every day. It can be encased in the beauty of the sun peeking out of the clouds, or in the tumultuous clouds themselves. As we drove home, we witnessed another bank of storm clouds, which seemed to follow us all the way. I started imagining different things in the clouds, as I often did as a child. Both of us commented on the crocodile, the little man with a Pinnocchio hat, the giant monster blowing on another cloud.
It was a wonderful afternoon, filled with new stories and love.