Art of Betty J. Billups
Rivers & Lakes
Plein Air Painting
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Plein Air Painting
Often times we head out to locations, to paint THAT location, but other things might capture our interest. Like this creation, which obviously was a "day at the beach"...but this little gem was that of 'the ocean's cover'...the clouds! I guess I have fallen in love with clouds ever since I received a $10,000 commission, to do a cloud painting, for a company in Coeur d Alene Idaho, a few years back.
I was set up in a 3 day show, and there was only 15 minutes left, before tearing stuff down, and heading home. A couple came into my room walked thru not appearing to be interested in anything, when they stopped at the front door, and pointed at an ad I had posted, to prove, I had done NATIONAL ADVERTISING
The ad was one of 22 annual ads, that I created for PLEIN AIR PAINTERS OF AMERICA (PAPA)...(those ads actually created the tremendous movement in pleinair painting, that has swept the USA...before 1987, the words "plein air" had NOT been used in the USA since about the 1920s! I was asked by Denise to create ON AD for her, to start a group by the above name! I told her, it was a waste of money, for merely one ad...so, I set up an ad campaign, from 1987, to 1995...which included all the major fine art magazines at the time, with 22 full color ads a year!)
Any way, back to the story of the couple pointing at that ad. This ONE ad, is the only one I had of "tear sheets", that was not torn, bent, creased, etc....the other 4 artists had harbors with boats, mountains with snow...my piece: A SIMPLE CLOUD painting...nothing else!!! When they pointed at it, I informed them that I did NOT have that painting with me. They then informed ME: "We don't want THAT painting, we want A MURAL!"
Well, nature or God, has a real funny sense of humor. That was the end of February, in the NW...which meant the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Which means: LOTS OF CLOUDY DAYS< and next to no sun! WRONG!!! That year, 1990, there was not a cloud in the sky the entire month of MARCH!! And being an artist that 95% of the time will ONLY paint what I see...I was stuck!!!
BUT, finally the clouds rolled in. I went out dozens of times, painting 16x20s, but nothing I saw in REAL TIME, would ever work for a mural 10 feet tall, by 6 feet wide!! SO, I designed that mural, using the best of the 16x20s!!!