Although I really enjoy doing Plein air painting with my painting buddies, sometimes I just want to paint them instead the landscape. Trees, hills and sky can be wonderful, but it’s nice to change it up occasionally.
If you take a moment to think about it, you could paint anything outside and it would be “plein air” — you could paint an abstract! A couple of weekends ago, I decided to just give it a try. This was not done all at once, I added the artist watching who arrived later, so it can’t be called “alla prima”. Why is it that we use terms in other languages to describe some of these things? Maybe it’s because we feel like it gives it more gravitas or legitimacy as art or something.
I won’t finish that title —but you may think of the author Gabriel García Márquez. We must find and connect with the things we love and take joy from. Everything is helpful, from simple pleasures like a morning cup of coffee in your favorite cup to the more complex and absorbing occupations you may assign yourself. Connect with friends, get exercise, write a virtual letter. I challenged some of my painting friends to a Wolf Kahn-style effort. I’m not sure I really accomplished that. I was inspired by a photo I took of some clouds at sunset after a rain right here in the suburbs. You don’t have to be limited by what your landscape really is— take what is working and inspiring for you, and discard what is not. (see reference photo below)
I’ll keep working on this and I think I see what direction it needs to go now. However, any suggestions are welcome!