Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why I Paint.....

Baling time -- Watercolor in Moleskine w/c journal

An artist friend of mine is having a plein air paint out this weekend in Central Wisconsin. She wrote me today to ask me if she could use something I wrote a few years ago to our painting group. I was trying to encourage others who haven't painted outside their studios to try something different. She kept my letter all this time. I had forgotten I wrote it! But, it about sums it up on how I feel about painting plein air, so I thought I would share it. If anyone is in the Central Wisconsin Area and would like to join us, please follow this link:

http://barnardstudio.wordpress.com

Plein Thoughts--
Plein air painting can be challenging. Not only do you have to have
your studio with you, you have to be aware of weather
conditions..and try and plan for them...with clothes, places to
paint, etc. Sometimes all you can paint is through your front room
window! The light changes...people move in front of your
subjects...rain/snow/sleet/hail happens.

Some of you don't have much experience in plein air painting. That
is ok. Experience will help you in what to bring along. I am no
expert...in my medium or in painting. But, I am a lover of plein
air painting. I feel there is nothing like it. You are IN the
landscape...you FEEL the wind and sun on your face...you HEAR the
birds...rain...children learning to fish....you SMELL the flowers
and the foliage. You SEE the rich colors of the landscape...in a
way that can't be duplicated in a photo. The nuances of light on a
pond or stream, the cloud formations. They are ALL 100% real! Talk
about a REALITY SHOW!! We ARE IN IT!!

No matter if you feel that you did well or poorly at your
painting...you learned something..experienced something...that will
help you in all your art. To push yourself is to grow...and to grow
as an artist...will help you in your studio work...no matter if you
paint flowers or people...it's ALL good! Some people throw out
their "failures" some people save them and record their efforts to
see how they have progressed in 10 paintings...100 paintings. I
like to keep mine...and not fuss with them much after I get them
home...no matter if they are mud...or wonderful....they are an
effort...my best at the time...of what was in front of me...of what
I experienced.

Vincent was driven to paint...lighting candles on top of his
hat...painting in severe weather--local and professional
ridicule...he was driven to paint what inspired him. Monet painted
plein air as his sight was failing and painted in severe
conditions. He actually BUILT his garden to paint it! Renoir had
his assistants belt his brushes around his wrists so he could paint
as his hands were crippled with arthritis.

We paint light..we paint life.

Sorry for going on and on...painting plein air is a subject I am
very passionate about!

Nancy Patterson

Northwoods Plein Air Painters


Hope all my readers get out there an experience this wonderful feeling! Thank you for reading and visiting my blog.


5 comments:

Teri C said...

Beautifully said and I totally agree. I need to go look at the Barnard studio, I think it is in my neighborhood. It would be wonderful as I can't find anyone near me to paint with.

Dorothy said...

Nancy your blog is beautifully written and beautifully painted!
I just wanted you to know I'm adding you to my blogfeed! What a gem you've created!!!!
Dorothy

kazumiwannabe said...

Love your enthusiastic words - just the kind of thing I need to read these days : ) - Your paintings are beautiful, I love your colors, and soft lines.

freebird said...

You make it sound good and doable. I haven't painted outside although I have drawn a little. It's a good excuse for those of us who stay indoors too much to get outside.

Alex said...

What a nice painting! I've always liked drawings of country sides and nature.. they are just so relaxing