Visit my Patreon Page for more painting instruction and Paint Along Videos!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What I Love About Plein Air

'In My Cherry Grove'          8x10        plein air pastel           ©Karen Margulis
available for purchase $125
The Cherry Trees were calling to me. They needed to be painted. I could take a hundred pictures of them but nothing could capture the way I feel about them like a painting them from life.  I needed to get out of the studio and stand under the trees.  I needed to hear the birds singing up in the branches.  I needed to feel the warmth of the beautiful spring day, to smell the neighbor's freshly mowed grass.  I needed to see the pale pink petals float gently in the breeze, carpeting the ground around me.

These are all things that a photo just can't do. A photo is flat and quiet. It is a piece of paper.  Painting outside among the trees makes me feel alive. My hand moves across my paper quickly...choosing the pastels to capture the colors I see in front of me.

My plein air pantings are not perfect. But they are real.  I never touch them up or finish them in the studio.  I want to remember exactly how I felt the day I painted them. I will use them as studies for studio paintings. The plein air studies capture a moment in time. To change them would erase the emotions that went into the painting.

I don't get outside to paint as often as I'd like. But when I do I am recharged and renewed. 

My Gogh box
Here is my set up: a Gogh Box ( on an Oben travel tripod. I am using a Great American plein air half stick set which fits inside the Gogh Box perfectly. I will take the foam out of the box so I can fit more pastels in the box. I need my Terry Ludwigs too.   I will blog about the little black thing in a future post!
My paper is Uart 600 that I toned a warm brown with oops sample paint from Home Depot.


Sergio DS said...

Great, gorgeous, lovely, nice, wonderful, agreeable... love it!

Teri said...

Karen, what I love most, is when I take my "step back" break in the morning, I have your beautiful inspirations to look at. Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Karen,
Lovely pastel of the cherry trees. It really makes you feel you are out there. The same picture framed seems sort of caged to me. Have you tried using very unobtrusive frames?
PS. I enjoy the pastel we ordered from you every day! Henriet Ferguson, Netherlands