How Karen Ann Hitt made a dazzling painting without being dazzled by bright sunlight.
Lead Image: Karen Ann Hitt uses a reflector made for the inside dash of a car for her plein air setup.
She accomplished this while in the bright altitudes high in the Rocky Mountains through the use of a car windshield shade.
“I now keep one always in my plein air backpack, for two uses,” she says. “The main one is using it kind of like an umbrella, to keep from looking into the light when I’m not able to use an umbrella. It shades my eyes from the light, especially in water scenes — in this case, it was the bright rock. It also shades my palette and painting.”
In this case the reflector created a tight little setup that worked well for her situation, but it originated in a happy accident.
“I had to come up with some way to paint — I forgot the clip for my easel that attaches it to my tripod,” she says. “So I tucked the reflector under the easel a little and used good ol’ bungee chords that I also keep in my backpack to keep it from blowing back. Normally I just clip it to the easel and tripod; I couldn’t do that yesterday, though. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise — I was forced to stand back from the painting while working.”