I was very fortunate to be included with three other artists from Jacksonville on a week long retreat on the beautiful island of St. Kitts. Our host, fine artist Beth Haizlip got us up early daily to set up our painting gear at a different location. Since her family has a vacation home there, she mapped out and got permission for the various venues before we arrived. Plein air painting has its pluses and minuses. The pluses are that as an artist, we are able to really see the scenes we are capturing. The colors and flavors are more vibrant. When you first arrive at a site, finding the spot and the scene that is interesting to you is key. Cropping in your head just the part you want to paint and setting up your tripod easel, paints, water, brushes, rags, palette, umbrella etc. Sometimes the views were so amazing that it took a bit to relax and decide what to paint.
As you start painting, you have to contend with the wind and sun, people coming by to see what you are working on (this is a minus for me since so many people want to make comments and chat which breaks up your concentration). Many times, my easel blew over and scattered my supplies a couple times but hey, no biggie. We were in PARADISE!!
The local art gallery, Dale Art and Originals, in Christophe Harbour set up a gallery opening on the end of the week. We all brought more paintings for the show over in our luggage and Dale advertised the event so there was a great turnout and several sales.