Working en plein air in Texas is a whole different ball of wax than painting in Monet's garden. I made the mistake of sketching at a trendy, upscale outdoor mall this past Saturday afternoon. It was 100 degrees. I ended up in the Neiman Marcus ladies room, lying on the floor with my feet propped up on a chair, with sales associates getting me water and bringing wet paper towels to cool me off. I think they came within a hair of calling 911. I did manage to call my husband. When he showed up with Gatorade, I drank that bottle down. Then, I began to feel much better. So far this year, we have had about 18 days of 100 degrees or higher. And this is June.
At least there weren't any fire ants. If you are outdoors in Texas in the summer and stand or sit on the ground, the fire ants will find you. Never had a fire ant bite? They hurt like holy heck! Insect repellent doesn't faze them. I still have a scar from one I got years ago. I think that one must have been the Mother of All Fire Ants.
So, plein air in Texas? In the summer? Pack Gatorade. And bring baking soda. If you get a fire ant bite, make a paste out of baking soda and rub it into the bite. it will help, I promise. Be sure to take another artist along. If one of you is overcome by the heat, the other can call EMS on their cell. And, remember, only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noon-day sun.
If you are interested in plein air painting in Austin, Texas, check out: http://www.pleinairaustin.org/index.htm I do notice that they don't have anything upcoming on the schedule. The last meeting was June 16th, at a lovely park in San Marcos. I hope they wait until October for their next outing. It's just not worth it!
You might enjoy the website Outdoor Painter: http://www.outdoorpainter.com/ where you can find Plein Air Magazine and info about various events. And, below, a painting by Renoir -- of Monet painting.