Sunday, October 13, 2013

Plein Air Idea .....Zero In

'Motif #5'                3x12         pastel            ©Karen Margulis
 I want to paint it all!  When I am painting plein air I often want to put it all in....the sky, the water, the flowers...How does one decide what to paint!   It can be overwhelming. Camera and viewfinders can help narrow it down. I find it helpful to do a quick thumbnail. But I still want to capture it all!

I have an idea that allowed me to paint it all but then also allowed me to narrow my focus.  It happened at Stan Sperlak's workshop.  Of course I wanted to paint 'The Big View'.  We have tree in Atlanta but no big marsh so I couldn't get enough of this view.  But how could I get it all in but not have too much information?

I decided to start with a warm up of the big view. I did an expanded mini on a 3x12 piece of paper. This long narrow format was perfect for the expansive view. It also allowed me to get it out of my system. I allowed myself one opportunity to paint it all!

Then I got down to work. I decided to zoom in on each of the headlands of the marsh. I didn't change my location. I only imagined that I was closer. It was kind of like I was my own zoom lens. I did a square format painting of the right side of the view and then the left. I played with the colors on each one.
I loved this approach. It helped get my nervous energy out with the warm up painting and I didn't even have to move my easel for the others paintings.


'Closeup 1'      5x5 

'Closeup 2'       6x6 

6 comments:

Karen Werner said...

I love this idea! Beautiful paintings too.

Carol Hopper said...

Hurrah for you and all your success. You deserve every bit of it because you are such an awesome painter. I love your work!

Karen said...

Thank you Karen and Carol! I appreciate you taking time to read my blog!

Mary Pyche said...

Great foreground in the first painting! I love the 3x12 one too and hope you will be doing a painting of that, maybe 12x48? 9x36?

Karen said...

Great ideA!!

robertsloan2art said...

This is a great idea. I also like painting the same thing more than once in general. I discover something new on every round.