Thursday, August 25, 2011


A few months ago I started plein air painting (painting outdoors). It is not as easy as it might look. For me, it is more difficult to judge the colors and values in real life, than from a still (and never changing) photo. Trying to capture the moment on canvas in a short amount of time is a challenge, but just being outdoors makes it so worth it.

For doing quick paintings without having to lug around a lot of supplies, I made a little pochade box out of a wooden cigar box. No, I don’t smoke cigars, I don’t know how I acquired this box, but it works perfectly. It holds my small brushes, palette of paints, and my 5x7 size canvas, all together. I can take it just about anywhere.

Here are a few pics of my latest plein air cigar box painting adventures.

This is a view from Sandy Beach, on the east side of Oahu. It was early evening, and the sky kept changing, along with the shadows in the bushes and the reflection on the water.

Hard at work with my little assistant, Brighton.
He always inspires me.

Luckily, I was able to finish before the sun went down.

My first plein air cigar box painting.
"Sandy Beach Bench - May 19, 2011"

A few days later, we stopped at the Hawaii Kai Towne Center. It is located on Koko Marina, and there was a nice shady little place behind the buildings, overlooking the marina.

We spent the afternoon there. Dean kept Brighton and I entertained by playing the uke. Perfect Hawaiian music to paint to!

My little cigar pochade box works great!
Koko Head in the distance with the Marina in the foreground.
May 21, 2011

Then, last weekend, we took a drive up to the North Shore.
The weather wasn't all that great, but I still took my little cigar box along.
We decided to stop for lunch at the "Shrimp Shack".
We have passed by it several times before, and it always looks busy, but we had never tried it.

What a cute place, and the owner was so nice. Maybe one day, I will paint this little truck, but for now, I will take an order of the COCONUT SHRIMP! My favorite!

Brighton says "Hey Mom, don't forget to order me some too!"

The coconut shrimp was really good, and the locally grown North Shore Kahuku corn was so sweet!

We continued on, stopping at Turtle Bay.
I decided to paint this little green beach shack and umbrellas that lined the beach there.
(That sky doesn't look too promising!)

Unfortunately, the weather didn't want to cooperate too much, and we got dumped on at least three times, making for an interesting painting outing. Good thing we remembered our umbrellas. We just had to hunker down and wait it out. It eventually passed and would clear for about 15 minutes before the next set of black clouds rolled in.

This scene kept changing, as the beach attendants kept raising and lowering the umbrellas, and opening and closing up the little beach shack, depending on the weather conditions. One minute the beach would be packed with people, and then the rain would empty the place. I decided to leave the people out of the painting.

Turtle Bay Beach Scene
August 20, 2011

Well, that is a sample of a few of my cigar pochade box paintings. I hope you enjoyed seeing how they were created as much as I enjoyed painting them!
Mahalo for taking the time to view my artwork.


LisaBongZee's Island Dream Life Website

1 comment:

Felicia Kramer said...

Hi Lisa,
Quite a change for you to do plein air - and a cigar box! Love it! Hi, Brighton!!