Fresh Air Fridays

transition to outdoors-art tuition-Philippa Robert Adelaide South Australia-outdoor painting

Fresh Air Fridays are what we call our outdoor painting group. Last Friday I was packing up to paint in the Adelaide Hills when my phone rang. After a very nice conversation with a friend I had breakfast and got ready to head out.


!!!  I couldn’t find my car keys.

For about 45 minutes I did lots of serious looking and retracing. Remember Ernie and Bert advising us to walk backwards through our day to find lost things? Not always easy when things haven’t registered in recent memory. I got a bit sick of it and decided to go to the nearby beach to paint instead.

At that point my off-sider loomed up to help. And help he did!
Those keys had fallen to the ground outside while I had been talking on the phone.
At that stage it was an hour past normal departure time so Plan B for Beach went into operation.

fresh air Fridays-June beach-seascapes-PhilippaRobert-AdelaideSouthAustralia
A sunny June morning


June beach painting-seascapes-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia
Beach painting, early in the process

Stepping back I noticed that my horizon was about half-way up the picture plane. Boring. And not as I had envisaged it in the beginning.

outdoor painting-seascapes-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia

It doesn’t really matter where the fresh air is on a Friday, but as you can see the beach was not very busy. There seemed to be more dogs than people. They whizzed around and past, up and back. One was a mad spotty thing which tore towards the easel at breakneck speed while I was emptying a water jar. No upset resulted thankfully!

fresh air Fridays-beach painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia
The office.

This is actually the second painting of two which have focused on the sandhills behind the shore, rather than the beach or shoreline itself. I have my reasons! More about that next time.




Painting outdoors again

It’s time! Weather is perfect (with a few variations). Excuses have run out. Time is always running out. Among my drafts is a blog about the great outdoors from last November. I have come to accept that the staggers at the start are part of my approach to outdoor painting, and blogging! I just need to go with it rather than fight it.

Here are a few shots from recent outdoor excursions.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
“Semaphore sand”
There was so much to choose from at this venue, but I was dazzled by the sunlit white sand and those bleached blue-grey bushes. This is my first painting on rejoining my Fresh Air Friday outdoor friends late last year.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
“Garden Island” (version 1) started on a very grey day.
I indulged my love of purples and blues.

Garden Island v2
Back to complete the painting a week later – light totally different (of course).
Hence version 2. Still not complete – we might be back there next year or the year after… I have sometimes hung onto a painting for 2 years before returning to the spot. Many places are either deserted and a bit forbidding or too far away to travel to without friends at the other end. Being part of a group presents so many more opportunities than going solo outdoor painting.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
“Beach gate”
A balcony view (in progress).

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
This was my first ever actually down on the sand. A tiny bit more work to do here, resolving that high drama in the middle distance.
It was such a hot day. I made a quick decision after lunch, packed my wheelie kit and walked down to the beach. I had a hat and long-sleeved shirt, but forgot I was wearing shorts and sandals. After about twenty minutes I could feel my feet burning, so phoned home for emergency supply of sunscreen. How spoiled am I? A few weeks ago it was an extremely nice coffee (surprise) and last week this! Gave me another hour and a bit out there.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
“Rain on the way” was started on a stormy Friday morning when I chose to stay close to home. It was a sound decision, weather-wise. I had to make a real dash for it when the rain did arrive. You can see the vertical strokes of painted rain! To be continued later on another stormy morning…..

Perhaps it will be unrecognisable next time. Do you ever pick up a painting again after a long spell? Is it ever really the same painting or do you think there’s a point at which you actually need to start again?