Summer Morning Painting


Somewhere inside of me, I wanted to be one of  “those people” – people who gather supplies, roll out on a sunny morning, set up in a field or on a hillside, and paint.

This week my friend June and I did just that. The painting below is what I produced during our morning excursion. It is now for sale in my Etsy shop.

sheep in countryside watercolor

On Tuesday, we set out in search of something to paint. This was our second such adventure and we were less sure of our destination but more determined. I had a taste of this plein air painting thing and I wanted more.

Our journey down country roads soon revealed a compelling sight – a herd of sheep on a lush, green hillside. I had prayed about where to paint before we left and I found myself drawn to this pastoral scene. (No surprise to my husband who is quite aware of my fascination with sheep.)

We pulled up to the closest house, wanting permission before setting foot on someone’s land. No answer.

I looked around feeling a bit awkward about approaching a stranger’s home. I noticed an angled ditch that could have been a property line. This home didn’t look like a farm-house, at least not as much as the house next door.

Next door an old stone home was surrounded by more pasture, a barn, and other out-buildings. My hope was renewed. Perhaps this wasn’t the right place.

I was soon guiding my black Hyundai down the drive with a new target in mind. I explained my reasoning to June as we backtracked up the road a bit. She saw the logic and agreed with my conclusion.

After parking my Elantra, I approached the barn on the neighboring property. Two things caught my eye – a figure moving about inside and more sheep. I boldly rapped on the barn’s weathered wood. The farmer, or shepherd, emerged. He didn’t seem bothered by the interruption. Praise God.

After I laid out our intentions, he explained that the sheep were his but the land was not. He pointed out where his property stopped, gave us permission to stare at his sheep from his land, offered to text the owner of the land next door, and even told us where we could park the car.

After scoping things out, we set up. I was privileged to stare at the scene below for a while.

sheep pasture PA countryside

About three hours later, June and I were headed home with a painting (me), a pastel sketch (June), wet feet, tons of pictures, and a sense of accomplishment.

Now June and I are one step closer to becoming two of “those people.”  Not a bad way to spend a summer morning. Not bad at all.

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3 thoughts on “Summer Morning Painting

  1. I love to paint in plein air too! But I go to public places where it looks safe because I’m afraid to knock on a stranger’s door. Around here people are mostly friendly but some crazed guy could open the door with a shotgun and a mean dog. And when I was painting on the battlefield a lady invited me to paint on her farm which is real pretty. Have fun! Be safe!

    1. You’re right, Chris. You don’t know what you’ll encounter. I praise God for His watch over June and me. I’m glad to meet another one of “those people” who trek across the landscape in order to capture it!

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