As foreshadowed in my post announcing my part-time back-to-school-status, my painting class (and the marvelous Ms. Clements) at Laguna Gloria has offered a wealth of writing and visual material. My favorite experience in the past month has come from our study of En Plein Air painting. I’ve dabbled in landscapes, but only of the photographic variety. Being out in the wide-open, enjoying an Austin winter, is a stupendously delightful experience, but it is not without some frustration. Space and light take you on quite a ride as you try to convert them from their 3-dimensional environment to your very flat canvas. Even more, the constant but imperceptible change that is constantly happening as the sun makes it’s way across the sky keeps you asking and mending your previous brushstrokes. All this as part of the deal, painting what you see and feel outside connects you with your surroundings in a way that no photograph ever could. Sunny, gray, wintry, hot…I’m thinking I’ll be painting the outdoors [outdoors] much more now!
My plein air studies also clearly demonstrate how the more you try it, the better (and easier) it gets! Always a welcome feeling. I still have a looong way to go before I’m effortlessly creating masterpieces from the comfort of my outdoor easel, but from my first study to my last, it only got better (nevermind that was the only direction it had to go…).
Here’s my final assignment painting:
And here are my two studies:
PS: On the two studies I left off the leaves, but don’t be fooled: It’s not really winter here.