Plein Air in the Park | Jeffrey Smith

Plein Air Painting in the Park

We have finally had some sun here in Minnesota!  Spring is slowly starting to reveal itself. Not weeks of sunny days mind you, and very few May flowers, but the change is underway.

Let the fair-weather plein air painting season begin

I lucked out with a day off during the week. I couldn’t wait another day to get out with my pochade box and do some plein air painting.

I made my way back to familiar ground–a  park that I have painted many times.

This particular space is nestled between the St.Paul Seminary and the Mississippi River.

I like returning to the scene of past plein air excursions several times. I think you get a better sense of the space each time you visit. What is the lay of the land? How does the light change as the day rolls along? Who uses the space?

During the day, I’ve discovered, this park is a favorite spot of several golden retrievers and their owners.

This is Jake

I had my gear set up on the shadow side of a pine tree, my fist full of wet brushes. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a fluorescent orange ball bouncing into view. The ball was followed by a golden retriever tearing full speed after it.

The ball came to rest about 10 feet from me. The dog slid to a halt just past it, turned back, and scooped the ball up into his mouth.

The golden stopped and looked at me as I smiled at him. His owner clapped and whistled, circling around the tree to see what was holding up Jake from bringing the ball back.

Seeing me, she called out, “Jake. Come.”

Turning to me, she said, ” Don’t worry, he’s very friendly.”

“No worries here, I love dogs, especially Golden’s!”

Panting, Jake  looked up at me as he ran past, a wag in his tail and the ball still in his mouth.

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