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Monday, September 15, 2014

Reflections on Plein Air Painting

'On Top of the World'            11x14       plein air pastel         ©Karen Margulis
painting available for purchase $165
It isn't always easy. There is the hauling and set up of equipment. The challenge of dealing with the ever changing weather and light. Then there are the bugs....sometimes lots of those.  Perhaps that is what makes painting on location so valuable. Because it isn't always easy and because all five senses are involved.

Every time I return from a plein air outing I am reminded of how valuable it was.  I may not have liked the paintings I did while on location but I know they were done with passion and joy. When I get them back in the studio I am always surprised at how much emotion I have managed to capture. Looking at them reminds me of the moment they were painted....the wind, the sun, and even the bugs. These things cannot be produced from copying a photo. When painting on location I am never more alive. That can't help but get transferred to my paintings.

"Everything that is painted directly and on the spot has always a strength, a power, a vivacity of touch which one cannot recover in the studio... three strokes of a brush in front of nature are worth more than two days of work at the easel." (Eugene Boudin)

'Over the Ridge'          8x10        pastel  $145
Painting outside is not for everyone. If you don't enjoy it or can't for whatever reason do the next best thing. Go outside with a sketchbook or maybe just yourself. Take time to paint what you see in your mind's eye. What colors do you see? What are you feeling? If you had paint what would you do? Just go outside and experience the things you love to paint without a camera. Live it and it will show in your work!

1 comment:


You shared my thoughts on plein air painting exactly.