Vitamin D top-up: Soak up the winter sunshine for thirty minutes a day' or 5 to 10 minutes of early morning sunshine in summer.It is mid-winter in my Goulburn Valley retreat, and I'm striving to get out of doors, with bare arms, into the winter sunshine each day to do a little gardening.
I'm setting up my en plein air painting kit. In springtime, I'll not even need to leave home as the canola crop is growing well and my roses and perennials will be spectacular this spring. As per my Fitness beyond Seventy post, I'm less active these days. Just the same, I've not given up any of the creative activities I love, I've just modified them to suit my current level of fitness. Getting enough Vitamin D does not get any less important as we age. Whether it is painting out of doors, gardening, or walking, I strive to get my natural sunshine Vitamin D boost every chance I can.
From my artist's diary.
I packed the thermos flask and set out with a friend down a 4WD track off the highway along the Goulburn Riverside. We found a spot wide enough to pull over and paint in the shade of trees.
There was the sound of the birds and a gentle breeze to add to the pleasure, the farmer plowing a paddock behind us and a couple of people using the road stopped to wave, and wish us a great day.
Then one gentleman returned. He was an art lover and wanted to purchase my painting. So, I took the painting to the new painting owner's home, and then I returned to my rural retreat with the memory of a lovely day and some money for art supplies.
Yes, it was a beautiful day.
I will return to that spot. My friend says that the recent floods would have been sure to have put some yellowbelly and cod in the billabong. Reg can fish while I paint.
Preparing for en plein air painting
• Take clothing and hats to protect from both the cold or excess sun.
• Fingerless gloves are a must for painting in cold weather.
• I take a folding stool as well as my folding easel box.
• Carry plenty of water Some water or a flask with coffee, tea or hot chocolate if it's cold.
• Loose and light coloured clothing (cream rather than white) helps minimise being bothered by mosquitoes. Get indoors before dusk in the tropics.
• Consider carrying insect repellent.
• Take paper towels and wipes to clean up and a bag to bring home your rubbish.
• A camera is useful for recording the scene, to complete it back it the studio.
"Ryn Shell is an author and internationally successful award-winning fine artist. Her stories are timeless, her paintings are elegant and beyond fashion"