Neither snow nor rain nor…

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

–US Postal Service

This steadfast creed of the US Postal Service could just as well apply to us plein air artists. We paint through the snow, rain showers, scorching heat, and even under the cover of night. Yet, there is one foe that makes our creative endeavors nearly impossible: WIND! And, of course, those pesky mosquitoes. But truly, the wind is our greatest adversary.

Yesterday, the Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters gathered at Rustique Winery for a paint out. It was a gloriously sunny day—if you could overlook the relentless gusts of wind! Easels toppled, supplies scattered, and occasional chaos ensued. Determined to make the best of it, I set up shop in the back of my SUV, using the open door as a windbreak, as did several others. After a little more than an hour, I managed to complete a quick, bold-brushed sketch of the stunning vineyards and Salinas Valley landscape before packing up for afternoon commitments.

Here are some snapshots of our group in action.


As for my sketch, a brief critique reveals my mixed feelings. The middle ground composition suffers from unbroken, parallel lines, mirroring the scene too faithfully. The perspective feels slightly off, too. However, I’m fond of the background, particularly the misty essence of the Salinas Valley. This piece has potential, and I’m eager to refine it in the studio. It’s definitely a keeper!


BTW, I had recently visited Rustique Winery…and made this brief video of the area and above, which led to scheduling this paint out. The hills were quite greener then. In case you missed it—