|'Rain Dance' 10x12 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
purchase painting here $155
I have three goals for plein air painting and they all come together on an interesting weather day. It happened in Iceland and it happened for me in New Mexico. The forecast called for 90% chance of thunderstorms. The morning arrived with clouds....but also peeks of sun. It made for the most interesting painting conditions. I painted fast and furiously trying to meet my painting goals.
Every artist who paints on location has their own reasons for painting outside. I have my own and they can be summarized into three goals:
Painting notes: The top painting is the studio painting done on Uart paper. The bottom painting is an 8x10 plein air painting done at the same spot.
|The group set up to paint the iconic view over Ghost Ranch|
- Work Quickly. As Richard McKinley reminded us...."It is vast and wonderful and we can't have it all" I want it all but I know it can't all go into one painting. I scan the location and find a spot that offers several potential paintings. I choose to work quickly so I can paint more than one view. Working quickly also helps me better capture the mood and light of the place before it changes.
- Work Small. I consider my plein air paintings studies. They are my notes in the form of a picture. I am taking notes on the colors and shapes and light that I see. Working small allows me to take more notes!
- Just be out there. I don't listen to music when I paint on location. I want to involve all of my senses as I paint. I relish the wind, the sun, the cold and even the bugs. They are all a part of the experience. These things make the place real. They stay with me and help color the way I will interpret my reference photos back in the studio.
The interesting weather really energized me. I managed to finish 10 studies on that wonderful day! These studies will continue to inspire me now that I am back home.
|'Ghost Ranch 3' 8x10 pastel plein air $150|
|My photo of this amazing view!|