Dotted around the Catskills through the warmer months this year, in leafy nooks and floral crannies, on (disused) train tracks and atop mountains, you’ll find Plein Air painters at their easels from dawn to dusk. The East Branch of the Delaware River Plein Air Group meet every Tuesday and yesterday they were painting on the curated grounds of The Blackbird Inn in Halcotsville, possible the most picturesque hamlet in the Catskills. There were patches of vivid red poppies; fresh mullein glistening with essential oils, getting ready to start their journey upwards like cornstalks from a double set of train tracks; kayaks laid out on the shore of Lake Wawaka were waiting for visitors from far and wide to Susan’s Pleasant Pheasant Farm.
Clear skies ensured that the light cast bold shadows and the scent of the trees was carried in a light breeze across the water.
For this watercolorist, peace and stillness comes in such beautiful scenes even before intensive focus and concentration makes the landscape I’m not painting vanish until, finally, only paper, paint and easel remain. And then I snap out of it and have a sandwich while the paint dries.