“Secret Creek”- A Plein Air Painting by Tesh Parekh

Secret Creek. 15×22. Watercolor on paper. En Plein Air.

This is my latest watercolor. I painted this plein air at the Durant Nature park. I had been painting outdoors for last few days. My hope was to have at least one new painting which I can submit to Watercolor Society of North Carolina (WSNC). I decided to submit this along with the “Beaufort Sunset”. “Beaufort Sunset” is a gouache painting on a board.

I have made several paintings at the Durant Nature park and hope to make many more. Visiting the same place to paint has been helpful: it has taught me to view the reality in different ways. Of course, the challenge is always to capture on the paper what I visualize. So, the development of skills is very important to me. It is a long process.

This is another painting done on an overcast day. There is a small trail which runs along the creek and it is called “secret creek trail”. On the one side of the creek is this trail and on the other side is the city street! Trees and wild life on one side and houses on the other side. For the most part, you can hear the water running, but, occasionally, you also hear men and machines. I liked the spot where the light was filtering from the top through an opening. I did this painting on Arches 300 lb CP paper. I have been painting on bigger size papers and have been for fortunate to complete my paintings in 2-3 hours. There are theories in the art world about what size paintings sell better. I am learning to ignore those! For now, I want my artistic preference to dictate the size. There is also a theory that unless it is Oil on linen or gallery wrapped canvas, it is not art! I paint in oils, but, for different reasons. I would rather keep learning to make the best art- regardless of the medium!

I was happy with the painting so I have submitted it to WSNC. Of course, WSNC does not require the painting to be plein air work. It can be done in the studio. But, if I can paint outdoors, why not? I would like to keep photography as a separate career.

This week looks busy with chores and weather- I am planning on painting thorugh both!

– Tesh Parekh



Game in the park- a plein air watercolor sketch by Tesh Parekh

Game in the park. 9×12. Plein Air watercolor.

This has been a good week- I have been painting everyday! I painted live for the Raleigh City Museum on Friday. We had a Mother’s Day Photo Shoot on Sunday. In the afternoon, I went to the Durant Nature Park. I love this park. It is closer to where we live. It is not the world’s most scenic place! But, it is in my backyard and I love it! Besides, Andrew Wyeth created masterpieces painting his backyard! And he is my hero.

I hiked along the Secret Creek trail. It is a beautiful trail. But, it was too dark to paint on the trail. I did see a portrait photo shoot going on along the trail. Looked to me like the available light was being used for the shoot. As a professional photographer, I always get curious about some of the stuff I see! When the light levels are too low for the naked eyes- can one really get any light on the subjects? I mean I know that fast lenses can help, but, still? May be some folks have magic tricks. I would probably use flash/ strobe- that is my trick. The trail ends near play area. I saw folks playing volleyball and I loved the action and the evening light. So, I sat down there and made this little sketch. I used Strathmore 300 Series sketchbook. I like how this paper handled the paint. Next day I went to Jerry’s Artarama and bought bigger sketch pad. I also bought 400 series paper, but, it handled the paint entirely differently! With watercolors, every painting is a battle- what works today may not work tomorrow! Wind, temperature, humidity, water- they all keep you on your toes!

– Tesh Parekh