This morning I went over to King Orchards with a painting buddy to do my “obligatory spring orchard painting”. It’s kind of a joke among us plein air painters about painting orchards in bloom. They’re murderously difficult to get a “decent” painting out of, what with all the trees all lined up like rows of soldiers. Artists are always looking for “artistic flow” and it’s frustrating when everything is so, well, predictably orderly. Excuses, excuses! But every year my painter friends and I speak wistfully all winter long of beautiful, sunny, warm days out in the orchards.
A couple years ago while taking a workshop from a highly revered member of Oil Painters of America, I asked him what his secret was for executing a successful orchard painting. “I don’t do them!” he said. So I guess he felt frustrated with orchards, just like the rest of us.
Here’s my setup. Lake Michigan is normally visible in the distance. Today there was fog. A big spray truck came rumbling by about mid-day, emitting poisonous gases, telling us it was time to scram!