In the Vineyards – Plein air painting on Salt Spring

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A couple of weeks ago, I went to visit my Mum and Dad on Salt Spring. It had been a while since I’d spent some time with them and although I have good friends on SSI and always want to visit everyone, I decided to spend the time wholly with my parents. We planned to paint plein air and that’s what we did.

We ended up at Mistaken Identity Vineyards, a delightful place to spend part of the day pastelling en plein air. Here is the progression from first thought to final piece (finished in the studio).

 

The initial sketch
The initial thumbnail sketch, 1.25 x 1.5 in

 

Here's the sketchy charcoal drawing on Wallis paper.
Here’s the sketchy charcoal drawing on Wallis paper. You’ll notice it’s WHITE Wallis where I usually use beige or toned-with-watercolour paper (as in my demo videos).

 

Here comes the first colour. I applied then brushed with a paper towel, trying to cover the glaring white paper!
Here comes the first colour. I applied then brushed with a paper towel, trying to cover the glaring white paper!

 

Now I pretty much have the white covered. It's time to dive in!
Now I pretty much have the white covered. It’s time to dive in! I loved the light coming between the twisted grape stems. I’ve begun to indicate that here.

 

Moving along slowly, I build up layers. I am using a limited palette of Schminke pastels (see the photo below) so need to create the colour I see with a few pastels.
Moving along slowly, I build up layers. I’m using a limited palette of Schminke pastels (see the photo below) so need to create the colour I see with only a few pastels.

 

Pretty much how I left the pastel on site. By now the sun had moved around so much that the only cast shadows to be seen where right under the vines. Time to pack up and leave.
Pretty much how I left the pastel on site. By now the sun had moved around so much that the only cast shadows to be seen where right under the vines. Time to pack up and leave.

 

But that wasn’t quite the end of the story. Mistaken Identity Vineyards were holding a summer celebration that Sunday and it was just beginning to get underway. The local newspaper’s photographer, Jen MacLellan, was on hand and snapped a few shots of me pastelling en plein air.

 

And the following Wednesday, this fine photo of me appeared in the Driftwood newspaper!

 

Gail's photo in the Driftwood
Gail’s photo in the Driftwood

 

So much for a quiet sneak onto Salt Spring. I hadn’t let anyone other than my parents know I was visiting and now everyone knew I’d been on the island!!! Cracked me up I’ll tell you. 🙂

 

Here are the selection of Schminke pastels from which to choose. They come in a wooden box so they are great for plein air painting!
Here are the selection of Schminke pastels from which to choose. They come in a wooden box so they are great for plein air painting!

 

Here’s the view of the vines:

Vines at Mistaken Identity Vineyards
Vines at Mistaken Identity Vineyards

 

And here’s the final pastel after some tweaking in the studio:

Gail Sibley, "Pinot Gris," pastel, 9 x 12 in
Gail Sibley, “Pinot Gris,” pastel, 9 x 12 in

 

So the moral of the story is don’t get caught out in the vineyards!!

 

Before I leave, I wanted to let you know that I will be teaching a two-day plein air pastel workshop on Salt Spring 24-25th of August. If you are on my list of people interested in workshops, you will receive an email with more details in the next couple of days. If you are not on that list and would like more info, please let me know. And I encourage you to spread the word to anyone who might be interested! It’s open to all levels.

 

As always, I appreciate the time you take to share my journey. Please feel free to comment (and if you are having problems with the system just email them directly to me and I’ll post them) and also feel free to share this post with anyone you think might enjoy it. Thank you.

 

Until next time,

~ Gail

 

 

8 thoughts on “In the Vineyards – Plein air painting on Salt Spring”

  1. Gail, I adore your pastels! This one is beautiful too. I admire the perspective, which is also sooo pronounce on the newspaper photo of you taken while you were working. And the juicy vibrant colours are so positive 🙂
    I wish I could participate in your workshop(s)!

    1. Nastya, you are so lovely. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm! Glad you like the colours. I think the limited palette inclines me that way. With regard to workshops, I am in the middle of figuring out how to give workshops live online. I’ll keep you posted!

  2. I’m just getting started with pastels…your work is beautiful. I appreciate how you’ve showed step by step how this all came together!

  3. such a great pastel of one of the great pleasures of life in its initial stages a good advertisement for the basic industry of the island.

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