I just spent a very pleasant day plein air painting with Sharon Williams and Jan Chalupnicek. We were just one intersection west of 37th St and 22x. It was a beautiful spot with a large wet land and a great deal of bird life squawking amongst the bull rushes. All that and the mountains in the background.
One of the challenges with plein air painting is simplifying the scene and making any changes necessary to create a well composed painting. I find that developing this ability is an on going process. An example of this in practice is the image of the pond and the mountains. The white tops of the mountains stand out clearly but the lower half of the mountains is a dark band of the foothills. These foot hill shapes were actually quite dull and added nothing to the painting. I recognize that now but in the moment I thought it was necessary to depict them. Next time I would do something different with them such as: leave them out, dramatically change their colour or anything that will make them more interesting.
The image of the sky was just a fun painting that I did quickly just before I left. It was all about playing with the dramatic dark clouds.