Plein Air Painting At Its Best
Rideau Woodlands Ramble 10x12 acrylic was painted on a Manotick Art Association Plein Air outing in September.
It will be shown at the Amberwood Gallery Show.
Too many years ago, I became enchanted with Plein air painting – we called it painting outside – and my enthusiasm for the concept has never receded. It takes a lot of practice before satisfaction begins to set in, and years to perfect it.
Many artists paint from photographs for landscape inspiration. Just being outside with sketch book, easel and paints – any medium - has many advantages. A photograph gives us one perspective; when we are outside we stop and look all around. We examine elements from many directions, we observe the brightness of the sky, shifting shadows on the ground and colours that change as we look around, up and down. And, we form an impression.
Painting plein air challenges us to record what we perceive – everyone’s different of course - in a way that conveys some inner feeling. Our response depends on our level of knowledge and experience. When we have a concept worked out we begin to paint. The experience can mean dealing with frustration, and enlightenment at the same time and arriving at happy resignation in the case of poor result or incredible ecstasy when the painting is special. Later in studio the work can be refined to enhance the inspiration.
Living in Canada affords us four seasons, plenty of opportunity to get out and paint.
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The Art of Charles Spratt