Because that's where one learns to see...really see. Knowing what lurks in the shadows, what color the leaves reflect, even what the local sounds and smells are makes convincing paintings. Plein air painting for me informs all my other work. What I have learned looking at a mountain range in Arizona helps me paint my own Endless Mountains back in my Pennsylvania studio. Struggling against bright glare to see the waves rolling into the beach in Costa Rica teaches me something about the Susquehanna river. Just dragging an easel out your studio door for a quick warm-up painting will do so much for your skills. Plein air work teaches you to select for subject and compose to your canvas or paper borders. It teaches you to move along, speed it up and keep the energy flowing.
Plein air is the background, the homework for painting from other sources. I see many painters, wasting precious time, using photos when they should be out in the field observing. Once they've done that they may be ready to paint from photos and their own imagination.
Besides it's the most fun you can have and still call it work.
I finally dodged the ice and snow storms to travel up to Corning, NY to the Rockwell Museum of Western Art t o see the excellent showing of...
SOLD Another watercolor...and more nasturtiums in Nan Burti's cream pitcher....I do love these two small clay pieces, but so far I'...
SOLD This Sunday, April 11th, the reception for my exhibit of river paintings is from 2-3pm (not as previously stated - 2:30). It's Fr...