Painting Outside - Part II

 ©Beth Cole

©Beth Cole

This is the second in a series about painting outside, you can read the first post here.

Finding a Painting Location

by Beth Cole

Honestly, finding a place to paint has been one of my biggest struggles. I am a little shy and I feel self-conscious painting in a conspicuous place where it is not common to see people out painting, you know? The last thing I want to do is draw attention to myself. Maybe you can relate.

Sometimes I load up my painting gear and just get in the car and drive until I see something that catches my eye. If there is a wide enough shoulder on the road, I will pull over and set up, but often times there is no place to park the car and I don’t want to trespass on someone’s property. In that case I will stop a take a photo instead. That way I can at least preserve the scene for later in the studio.

All this to say that there are some great places to paint and ones I would have never considered until I gave it a try.  Here are some that have worked for me. I would love to hear your painting places, too -- please share!

The local cemetery. Might sound weird but this is a tranquil place with plenty of room where you won’t be disturbed. There is usually lots of shade and it is quiet. I don’t paint scenes within the cemetery, I look for the vistas on all four sides. It works!

State or national parks. Nebraska requires a park sticker but it gives entry to all of the parks in the state so I believe it is well worth it. I like to paint in state parks, especially during the week, because it is not crowded and it is always peaceful and beautiful. It has been a great place for me to practice.

My backyard. We live on the edge of our little community so I have a field and expansive views in my backyard. I have painted here many times and it is also a great place to practice.

Friend’s property. Some in our art club have beautiful property and views so we have gathered there to paint and it is good fun!

Other’s property. Sometimes there is a place I would like to paint but I definitely would be trespassing on someone’s land so I just gather my bravery and knock on the door. I have never been turned down!

The main thing is for us to just get out there, right? So....you are not alone my friend....onward we go.

Oh and don't forget, I would love to hear what are your favorite painting locations? 

Thanks for reading, I am grateful for you.

--Beth
Soli Deo Gloria

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