The snow melted quickly this spring, and wildflowers were out weeks early. Cheryl and Michelle were able to take advantage of the opportunity to visit Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park for a painting outing. The weather had been forecast to be 70 degrees, but they woke up to heavy overcast and temperatures in the 40's. It wasn't going to be swimsuit weather! Plein air painters in Minnesota need to be prepared for a variety of weather on any day.
In the park, the forest floor was carpeted with many blooming wildflowers, including hepatica, bloodroot, and Dutchman's breeches. Clumps of green leaves promised more to come, with buds showing on some of the trillium and trout lily. The heavy overcast obliterated all shadows and reduced the landscape to shades of gray, with the flowers keeping themselves closed. It was great to be outside, but the painting opportunities were limited. Cheryl and Michelle set up their easels near a clump of bloodroot and worked on their paintings. It was a day to practice working in narrow value ranges and with limited color, with no paintings to show at the end of the day.
Sometimes a day painting outside, practicing, is its own reward, so that the next painting will be that much better.