Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Joys of Plein Air Painting

Marsh and Egrets, plein air study, acrylic on panel, 6x12, Jan Blencowe 2010

 Afternoon Delight, plein air study, acrylic on panel, 5x7, Jan Blencowe, 2010

My surgery was last Friday and all is well. I am back on my feet and looking forward to getting back to normal. Thank you to everyone who wished me well and kept me in their prayers.

Above are two small plein air studies in acrylic from recent weeks. There really is nothing like being outside painting. I enjoy plein air painting now even more since I've gone through an attitude adjustment.

When I used to only paint outdoors there was always a lot of pressure to "get a good one" meaning a painting that needed little to no work beyond what was done on location and was ready for a frame. It needed good drawing and composition, values & color spot on etc. That's really a tall order when painting outside. Add to  that I was usually painting in a group and other artists would routinely go around to look at other's work in an effort to scope out the competition and it's no wonder that I felt a lot of pressure!

Today I paint outdoors just for the sheer joy of it and for the amazing opportunity to observe nature. Since I do a lot of larger studio paintings these days based on both plein air field studies and photos I feel much more relaxed about just sketching and doing studies outdoors. The focus has shifted from product to process and that has been a very good move for me.

Here are bunch of recent plein air watercolor sketches...

CT River from the Castle, watercolor, 4x8, Jan Blencowe 2010

Gilette Castle, watercolor, 6x6, Jan Blencowe, 2010

Rock in a Puddle, watercolor, 4x8, Jan Blencowe 2010

Schreeder Pond, watercolor, 6x8, Jan Blencowe 2010

Bridge at Chatfield Hollow, watercolor, 6x8, Jan Blencowe 2010

Antiques, watercolor, 6x8, Jan Blencowe 2010



A.Decker said...

I like everything you've done here, but my fave is Afternoon Delight. A delight it is! All that red rock really opens up my eyes. Nice.

I don't keep up enough to know about your surgery, but Yay! for a quick recovery. Way to go.

AutumnLeaves said...

Goodness! Each of these are truly beautiful! I always enjoy pieces with a building in them, whether house or castle, and those two are just phenomenal. Then again, the pieces in between just draw me in as well! So glad to hear that all went well with your surgery and you are already back to painting!