Thursday, June 26, 2014
Back to Plein Air
My teacher/mentor/friend informed me today that we have been painting together outside for 22 years. Today was another glorious day.
I was so fortunate to get my start in art with someone who actually knew what he was doing. The next 20+ experiences were dismal save for 3 people who were able to build on my base.
When I started I was told that I had to learn to "see". Had trouble with that but it turned out to be so right. I was to paint from life to learn to do that. That meant plein air, still life and figure drawing and painting. A number of challenges soon proved that I "thought I was seeing", but really I was "painting what I thought". Took a lot of challenges and work to start to understand what Mother Nature was offering. Been painting plein air in all seasons ever since. It was years before I saw another plein air painter.
Today was a typical day at the office. "You want to paint?" was all it took to get out the usuals. Then we chose a spot and;
- found some shade
- set up
- decided on what and how to paint
- put down paint for an hour and a half max - light had changed to a new painting
- shut down and cleaned up
- had a chat about what we had done, why, and what we learned
- decided on next session
So simple. So enjoyable. So instructive.
Now Plein Air has been taken to Event Status. A totally different emphasis. Some are connected to charities, some are learning oriented, some are invitational. Most stroke the ego and get "paintings" shown with the chance of a sale. Here are some central themes I see.
- organizations, presidents, vice presidents, and red tape
- mugs, caps, flags
- permission by entry form
I'll be out there as often as I can using the simple route.
Ruins of Belfountain, 11x14, Oil on Canvas, on Board