Becoming a Plein Air Painter

March 22, 2019

 

I have been drawn to portraits since my second oil painting. I love and am so inspired by people's faces. However, I am also inspired everyday by what I see outside my window. I live on a beautiful old farm with so much personality. We are surrounded by flat farmland and beautiful skyscapes, and I want to be able to paint it! These barns are deteriorating a little more every year. Before we know it, they will be gone! I NEED to record what's around me, and I want to be able to do it in a way that records not only the buildings but also the mood at different times of day and the strong presence and link they are to the the hard work and difficulties of their time.  I just don't know much at all about painting landscapes or painting outside, and I want to be able to achieve this with the integrity this farm deserves. 

 

 I was lucky to be in a 2 day workshop with Julie Oriet (https://julieoriet.com/about) a couple of years ago. Julie is a phenomenal, successful pastel artist, and I learned so much from her, but two days just wasn't enough to give me the confidence I needed to get outside and paint my surroundings as I see it with my oils. I had some success after that workshop, in the safety of my studio, but I just didn't feel like I was ready to take on the great outdoors on my own. After a year of wishing and wanting to be able to do more, I took a leap and am heading out the door soon! 

 

Next week I am going to a weeklong workshop with BILL DAVIDSON, OPA, AIS, LPAPA (https://billdavidson.biz/about). It will be held on the coast of SC with a group of twelve painters, and I imagine that I (and a friend) will be the only non landscape painters there! I am a bit nervous and overwhelmed with all of the equipment I needed to purchase just to make the "outside painting" endeavor a little easier! Who knew?! 

 

I researched quite a bit before I settled on this workshop. I looked at so many Plein Air painters/teachers and considered others, but I believe I have settled on the right one for me. I plan to blog about my experience daily, both the frustrations and, hopefully, the successes. I hope you will see the growth of this plein air painter and experience what it is like to be in a long workshop like this. I have done a full week workshop once before, and IT WAS PAINFUL!! However, I grew so much as an artist that week. I fully expect that I will want to get in my car and go home Monday-Thursday, but I hope that by Friday I will begin to find outdoor painting more natural. Even more, I hope to fall in love with it. I KNOW that I have chosen a great teacher, so I can't wait to get there and get started! Did I say that this is my BIG 60 birthday present?! shhhh......but don't tell my age!

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