"No Wind Today"
Watercolor 15 x 22 inches
en Plein Aire
A long time ago, my Mom made special awareness to all of us
five kids at meal time: You will eat
what is served to you!”
“I am not cooking different meals for
everyone who wants some thing more special than everyone else at the
table. Learn to enjoy that which is before you!
And so it is with painting en Plein Aire.
parlance, paint what is in front of us!
That does not mean that we cannot or should not add our own “style” or
In fact, it shouldn’t
mean that we don’t convert the image in front of us to our personal tastes . .
. .abstract or realistic.
Plein Air painting offers tuff cirumstances in which to
Difficult places to sit /
have never painted a lick . . . .some who have . . . .and some whose “Aunt is
You get the grist of
When Painting outside in the open
air, there are lots and lots of conditions that try very hard to break your
That is, if you let
There is another side of the coin:
Standing in front of an easel, paints and
brushes in hand, not knowing if you can carry it off right downtown Paris, France.
Or, standing in front of Yellowstone Falls painting the scene with one of your favorite artists, or Being at a secluded
beach on a beautiful day watching every stroke be perfect,
Or Standing in the shallow, meandering water
of the Merced River looking up at Half Dome in Yosemite park as the dome takes
on an Alpine Glow and turns the color of a pumpkin.
Or, maybe it is when you are at Point Lobos
State Park on the coast of the Monterey Peninsula, with two painting buddies .
. . . everyone hyperventilating at the drop dead gorgeous scenery.
Or, fogging off to the French Conuntryside
in the Lot River Valley trying to make artistic sense of a medieval village or
Okay, so I have had my easel blown over and paintings
spoiled while confronting the elements.
I have come home bitten and burned and sick to my stomach from
But, Baby, there is nothing
like the places I have been and tried
to paint (yes, unsuccessfully) !!!
can still smell the air at Yellowstone Falls in the year 1995 . . . . .twenty
I still look at the
painting made while standing ankle deep in water of the Merced River because
that was the best view . . . . .I can feel the trickle over my shoes!
And I can recount the crazy conversations
and sharing the intense, deep connection with three friends while we painted
(Google some images of that
Yes, there are aggravations, distractions and
But with them there
are pleasures so rich and so unforgettable, that every one of those teensy
little bothers are simply the external white noise to which we never pay much
If you haven’t mustered the courage to fight off the
elements and distractions, you are missing out on an extraordinary
Those pleasures just sit
out there waiting for us artists.
They are sitting there right now
ready to be eaten up by our
excitement and our zeal to capture the beauty.
Thanks, Mom, for training me to eat what I have been served!!