Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Plein Air

When it comes to assigning fancy words to everyday concepts, artists are almost as good as the military. "Plein Air" just means painting outdoors, and it's something I've been trying to work on lately. I painted this little watercolor today, and it was cold out, so I worked pretty quickly. Even when it's warm, you have to work more quickly outdoors because you never know when conditions will change.

That's not the only difficult thing about Plein Air painting. At least in my case, it's tough to confine yourself to just the image you want on your paper. Whereas when you work from a photograph the image is already isolated within the bounds of the photo, when I paint outdoors my eye wanders, and before I know it, I'm incorporating elements that are outside the area I'm trying to paint. I suppose that can sometimes be a good thing, but usually it just means my painting ends up being a mess.

In this case I worked hard on keeping my focus on the image I wanted to capture, and I think it worked out relatively well, at least for 20 minutes' work.

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