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Saturday, August 06, 2016

Plein Air Can be Simple!

'Early Fall Impressions'      5x7     plein air pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available $95
Wouldn't it be nice to have a simple, fun and productive plein air outing? There are so many benefits to getting outside and painting from life but there are just as many obstacles that make it challenging. I laugh when I think of the amount of stuff I tried to drag around when I was new to plein air painting. And I could not figure out how to narrow it down and find a good subject no matter how many viewfinders I bought!

But time and experience have taught me how to simplify....both equipment and approach to finding a suitable subject. Now plein air is an amazing experience that I know is helping me grow as an artist.

'Goldenrod Study'    4x4    pastel    $65
Let me share one of my favorite tips for successful plein air experiences.

Zoom in and get intimate 

 Instead of trying to put everything in a 5 mile radius into one 5x7 painting, pick one thing and paint an intimate portrait of that thing. Challenge yourself to find the beauty in ONE SMALL THING. Use descriptive words to describe your thing and paint your description. Yellow, dancing, delicate sparkles against a dark shape are the words I used to describe this stand of Goldenrod. It was easy to paint one small part of the huge and overwhelming field.

'Golden Fields'    6x8    $75

If you liked the tip I have many more to share. Consider taking on one day plein air workshop in the beautiful North Georgia mountains on September 8, 2016 from 10am to 4pm – This workshop is held in conjunction with the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association's Plein Air event. It's a great excuse for a fun getaway weekend with your art friends! Here is the class description:

Karen Margulis Plein Air One-Day Workshop
Take part in a Plein Air one-day learning experience with renowned pastel and Plein Air artist Karen Margulis. Open to artists of all mediums, Karen will share a 6-step approach to simplifying subject matter and creating a successful painting. Artwork creating during class is not eligible for event awards and judging, but may hang during the exhibit. Space is limited; please contact the Art Center directly for class information and registration.

'Across the River'        8x10      pastel       $150

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