Saturday 3 May 2014

The Pensive Palette: The Value of Plein Air Painting

The Pensive Palette: The Value of Plein Air Painting

Sea Ranch | 9”x12” | oil  (available) - painted on site

These days, it’s easy for artists to gather reference with digital cameras or clicking around on Google. Photoshop can assist in perfecting that composition or combining multiple images into a single dynamic reference.  But ultimately, our best tool is our own perception, our senses in the moment in the space where we are.

Our eyes see three dimensions, colour, value, the quality of light and air differently than a camera, and the place we are in makes a deep impression on us well beyond the digital film plane.  The camera can help remind us and jog our recall, but the experience of capturing the moment, the mood, the emotion, and sense of space is invaluable in understanding and then interpreting out into the work. 

An artist’s experiences help generate their unique view of the world and the resulting art that they create.

While a plein air painting is often less refined or more raw than studio work, it has a sense of energy and immediacy.  Whether it's in preparation for a studio piece or just for the fun and satisfaction of capturing the essence of the moment, adding some plein air expeditions to your life brings richness and reward.

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