A Day in the Life - Blog Carnival

   A Day in the Life of an Artist REVEALED!

What do those crazy artists do all day long? Find out here! 

Visit the links below to see the participating artists' photos and descriptions of their days. Some artists are offering giveaways or special prices for the Day in the Life Blog Carnival.

Cindy MichaudJo MacKenzieChristine ParkerMarla Laubisch
Joanne GrantKevin LarsonCindy WilliamsSharon Graves
Sally BinardKaren JohnstonCharleen Martin

You can enter to win the painting shown in this post! Just subscribe to my weekly newsletter and you'll be entered in the drawing. If you already subscribe, you're automatically entered. (Drawing on August 28).

For this carnival, I chose to document a weekend day—a plein air excursion.

Ha ha! Yes, I really did get up at 5:30. I was in the last week of the Couch to 5K program, and no way was I going to miss my next-to-last run. In North Carolina, it's important to get out early before the heat. After running, showering, eating, and wasting time, I was ready to start the day!

PACKING. This is my checklist and a vinyl lunchbag I've had forever. Now I use it for all the paint, solvents, pencils, and a roll of tape. Note: most parks don't allow glass containers, so always transfer your liquids to plastic. And put them back in the glass when you get home: Most stuff is good for a day in plastic, but some things like Liquin will begin to dissolve certain plastics.
THE CAT. Igor trying to persuade me to stay home. He sees all my stuff piled up by the door and thinks it's going-away-for-a-week luggage.
THE TRUNK. I don't usually bring a camera bag; that belongs to my husband. Sometimes we've combined plein air and fishing excursions. This time he came along to help and take pictures. All my stuff is in the backpack—paint, paper towel, canvas, sunscreen, hat, etc.
Off we go!
ON LOCATION. Here are some lovely scenes from the location where I intended to paint (click to embiggen). But then this happened:
PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED. The park was FILLED with school groups doing some nature stuff. Every area—the trails, the soccer field, the picnic area, the garden—hundreds of kids, parents, and teachers everywhere.
Oh well.
PLAN B. Hey, this looks like a nice spot! One of my projects this summer was to visit as many parks as possible, to scope them out for plein air locations. This nature preserve is uncrowded on the weekend, and it's reasonably close to home. I'm glad I had it in mind as a backup location!
CARRYING. On this day, Robert helped me carry stuff, but I can carry all my rig unassisted.
A NICE SPOT. Perfect! I can paint in the shade. It takes me about five minutes to start getting a sunburn.

Well, THAT'S ominous.
DOING IT. The scene, and the reverse view showing my setup. I decided to paint just a small area, with the edge of that building and the little tree. The light changed constantly as I painted. That's always a challenge. Also, I started painting around 11:00 a.m., when the light is at its worst for landscape painting.
Progress shots (click to enlarge). I decided to do the finishing touches at home, because I just couldn't get that foreground tree to look the way I wanted. I was using Cadmium Yellow Light, which is not in my usual palette, and I forgot to bring Permanent Yellow, which is. So I struggled the whole time with color temperatures.
THE FINISHED PAINTING. 6" x 8", oil on panel. I would like to go back in and lighten that sky and take out some blue; I might not get around to it.
TIME TO GO. We're both tired and hungry. Let's go home!
(after we air out the car, where the inside temperature has reached about 2,000 degrees).
Car racing! Just kidding - I think I watched This Old House.
The rest of the day was not painting-related, and you probably don't want to see photos of me doing laundry, unpacking my kit, watering the houseplants, washing dishes, and watching a movie until I fell asleep on the sofa at 8:30.

All in all, a very pleasant day...


  1. What a wonderful, insightful and educational adventure! Got quite a few chuckles along the way. Yours is the first I've read in the carnival and I already know it is one of the BEST!!!

  2. You are so organized! Thank you I enjoyed seeing your "Day in the Life..." :)

  3. Thanks Marla for organizing this...and for sharing your day.

  4. Thanks for sharing this, Marla. This is too funny! Loved it.

  5. Marla . . . Thank you for putting this together . . . again! Great choice for your 'Day' :)

  6. Great post, Marla. Hope I can join the fun next time around. We are on our way to NC tomorrow!

  7. Thanks for sharing Marla...made me smile! We all have a lot in common!

  8. love your post. Thanks for putting in all the details. Love it and the finished painting. Thanks for all you do for the carnivals.


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