Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Monet, Plein Air, Hensche, Still Life, Robert Genn, Art History.....

What to do?  For those on the journey of learning and development all this information is daunting.  Overload.  It is much worse if you are a workshop groupie.

There is only one solution I have found.  Go to your room and paint!  You can't learn to swim reading about it on the couch.

Recent posts have been about that line of painters evolving from Monet.  There are many more lines, all with merit and interesting.  In my case I paint pretty well every day and I consider each painting a study.  I use Thursdays to do still life studies in the studio or on the back patio.  I paint landscapes en plein air whenever I can.  I paint larger pieces in the studio where I use thumbnails as the reference point along with paintings done on site.  I avoid using the photos I take, relegating them to an occasional peek for compositional considerations - no good for colour or value.  And I take the added knowledge I acquire along the way and use selected elements in my work.  That way I don't become a glazer or a tonalist or some other one trick pony.

Here is a recent snow scene with some embedded approaches.

Hiding From It, 16x20 Oil on Canvas

This was done from a plein air sketch and memory.  We were hiding in the woods to escape high winds. On site I determined my concept and added a few words to my thumbnail.  Perhaps you can see some of the study tools that found their way into the painting.  In addition there are others we have not yet investigated.  But mostly I just relaxed, stopped thinking and just painted.  When the CDs were over I took a conscious look.  Interesting to see what the blank mind used from the tool box.

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