Posted by on 2016-3-14 in Blog | 2 comments

I’m thinking that I now have the version of plein air that I can finally see myself in.  When I first started this, I felt like I was just blindly feeling my way through it–not really relating to my own work all that well.  I had observed a lot of examples from Plein Air magazine and even read some books on plein air, namely Landscape Painting, Inside and Out by Kevin Macpherson and Painting Light in Oils by Peter Wileman and Malcolm Allsop.  But only my “Sedona Sky” painting (posted in earlier blog) spoke to me until this painting.

Grand Tetons 18x8 1024

I’m still painting from my own photos. Waiting for my easel so I can actually paint outside!!

I’m wondering why I relate to this one and not others.  Why this seems like me while others just seemed like practice.  I think it is that the viewpoint is massively distant.  So maybe I just like a lower level of detail on landscapes and somehow that balances with the idea that in my studio work I work with a close up viewpoint with a similarly streamlined sense of detail.  I don’t know.  Maybe that’s all just over-analysis.  And the real explanation is that I just got into it, period.  Anyway, this one is from my heart.

So I’m wondering if any of the artists out there had a similar experience going from the control of studio work to the variety of factors presented by plein air –or vice versa for that matter.  Did it seem like a natural transition to go from one to the other or did it seem like a totally different animal?  In fact, I understand that most artists do go back and forth between the two, so it must work naturally for at least some.  I would love to understand more about how that works for you.


  1. 3-21-2016

    I go back and forth constantly and always have since I started painting over 40 years ago. I have always wanted to capture what I see. I realized early on that photography did not get the color or movement I was seeing and I fought hard to work quickly enough through my techniques to be able to “Get it!” Sometimes my studio is my alter. But I bring my easel is with me anywhere I find my subject. So glad to be able to do this in my lifetime. It is truly the most wonderful life I could imagine.

  2. 3-21-2016

    It’s so great to hear about the inspiration it brings you as opposed to the struggle. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone of the studio just so I could experience what you’re talking about. And I won’t lie, it is challenging. But I see from what you’re saying, it is worth doing. It really helps to hear what others find in it–the color and movement– for you. Thanks for leading others (me) on!

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