Friday, May 3

Painting En Plein Air

A Beautiful Day for Painting
En Plein Air
photo copyright 2008
Maybe it's the nice spring weather we're having here in the northern hemisphere.

Maybe it's the feeling of being on the inside looking out.

Maybe it's the art books about en plein air painting I've been reading.

Maybe it's the DVD trailers of all those oil and watercolor painters who love to paint outdoors.

Maybe it's wanderlust.

Whatever it is, it's making me want to paint en plein air, which I have never done. OK, I did go out in the backyard once, but that really doesn't count.

All those en plein air painters look so happy and fulfilled in the meadows, by the riverside, in the park, or at the seashore. The weather is usually pretty fine, even if a little overcast, and sometimes there's even a refreshing breeze. How nice!

What purposeful painters they are, painting from life as it should be. Painting light and air and atmosphere just like the Impressionists in the Forest of Fontainebleau.

I take stock of my supplies. Can they be adapted for a painting trip en plein air? Why, yes, I think they can be. I don't really need a pochade box. I have a tri-pod that can be converted into a portable easel of sorts. I have light-weight plastic containers to hold what few brushes and paints I'll need. Sunscreen--check; waterbottles--check.

I'm all set.

But wait. It will soon be mid-May. There will be heat. There will be humidity. There will be mosquitos and critters. There will be sweat. What am I thinking? Painting en plein air in this climate? Am I nuts?

No, just envious of all those en plein air painters on the Pacific coast of the US, in the South of France, and along the Mediterranean Sea, that's all.

But, I will be enjoying the A/C in my studio all summer long.