Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Windy Start - Lighthouse Artcenter Plein Air Festival

"First & Last Light, Juno Beach Pier" (oil on panel, 12"x16")

It was 6am on Thursday morning, the first day of the Lighthouse Artcenter Plein Air Festival. Kimberly and I arrived at Juno Beach Pier just before sunrise. It was early enough that the lights were still on and the sun had not yet come over the horizon to blast out the colors.

This was my first time ever painting on a beach, and I had not anticipated the wind. I set up on the pier itself, and during my entire time painting, I had to hold onto the easel with my left hand, and often use my right elbow to help hold it down as well. The wind was strong enough that my brushstrokes often landed in the wrong place. This became such a problem that I considered packing up and scraping down the painting. I decided to power through, chalking it up to a good warmup. I decided that I would finish the painting, no matter the outcome.

As I continued to paint, everything started to come together. The drama started to emerge as darks and lights created a nice design. The vibration of warms and cools added a zing to the piece. It seems you never know where a painting may lead. In the end, I was happy with the outcome, and it was a great way to start the festival.

As troublesome as the wind was, it was still a beautiful experience. Warm ocean breezes on a 70 degree morning aren't something one can complain about. This is what pleinairstreaming is all about for Kimberly and I. Visiting new places and capturing the beauty of them is a great way to spend our days. They're all unique experiences. While I painted, Kimberly explored the beach, capturing images of Portuguese man o' wars that had washed ashore. Another new experience for us and a wonderful start to the weekend. - Patrick

The alien Portuguese man o' war. Photo by Kimberly at Saunders Fine Arts.

© Patrick & Kimberly Saunders, Plein Air Streaming, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. Wonderful painting, writing... and jellyfish - it is the same colours as your painting :) You must have been painting pretty fast to catch that early morning light!

    1. Interesting coincidence on the colors! As for the timing, it was important to start before the sunrise. I blocked in the darks first, including the clouds. Once that was done, I could hit the bright colors of the sky at just the right time.

  2. Beautiful painting and the title is perfect!

  3. Very nice! I walked out on that pier last year when I was in the area for a wedding. The rehearsal dinner was at the Lighthouse Arts Center.