Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Bombay Sunshade or the modern MacGyver facsimile.

In this heat getting out of the sun is important to anyone attempting to paint en plein air on a 100 degree day. Finding a shady spot is always a good answer and having one of those cute little umbrella attached to my tripod might be even better. But when the shade keeps moving and there is no umbrella salesman near by, improvise!

And just like MacGyver, that resourceful secret agent with an encyclopedic knowledge of science, able to solve complex problems with everyday materials he finds at hand, along with his ever-present duct tape and Swiss Army knife, I sprung into action.
Binder clips, car window shade and wam-bam, instant shade and sun block!

With my MacGyver Shade I was able to finish my 8x10 oil sketch with out melting a retina.
I wanted to focus on just the color of the water, attempting to capture the interesting color notes formed by the setting sun. Most of this sketch was done with a painting knife.

At home I thought the auto shade was a pretty good idea, certainly lightweight enough to stuff in a backpack, but the idea needed a bit of tweaking. So I pulled out one of my reference books, The Encyclopaedia of Oil Painting  ( I am sure MacGyver/Richard Dean Anderson owned this book ) and there it was The "Bombay" Sunshade.
Just proves that good ideas repeat themselves and that our artistic ancestors had, and have a wealth of knowledge to share. The woman seems a little warm in her outfit but look at that clamp mechanism, and those ribs in the bonnet. So I'm thinking backpacker tent poles, maybe even the rain-fly, a three way C-clamp or even a picture framers miter clamp, along with my ever-present duct tape and Swiss Army knife.............

"Necessity is the mother of invention"

Explore - Question - Learn - Enjoy - Jim

Encyclopedia of Oil Painting, Fredrick Palmer
North Light, Cincinnati,Ohio1983