Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Plein Air Discoveries

Fay’s Step
8” x 6”
Oil on Panel

It never ceases to amaze me how much you learn painting from life, and socializing with other artist. Last week for the first time in a while, I went out painting with some friends just for the fun of it. Phil told me about the site I mentioned below PLEIN AIR ARTISTS. The painting above from that adventure.

I was checking out their forum on the site and found a great comment about "Thoughts on Plein air painting" and felt compelled to respond to the comments myself, which is not something I would have done in the past, before my days as a blogger!! Below is my response, if you would like to check out the forum click here.


I have been an artist all of my life but only began painting in 2003, at first I was self taught using books videos whatever I could. In the beginning all I knew was painting from photos but very quickly became restless and felt the need to become more painterly, and to understand how not to be limited by a photo.

My first workshop was in Plien Air, and I very quickly realized what I had been missing and how It would help me grow as an artist. I have continued taking workshops, both Plein Air and Studio as well as drawing classes. I have also learned a great deal by simply painting with friends and sharing ideas.

One of the great things about art is the endless supply of sources to learn, and though William F. Reese is so right about being robbed by using photos too soon, it can be overcome. It can be used when starting out as a way to build that necessary confidence to stick with it, as long as you realize what it takes to move beyond the photo. A few seemingly successful paintings can give you that thirst to want to know more. In my case it made me realize I had some talent and what I didn’t have, I could learn.

Well, I am still learning and even more thirsty than before. I am so grateful to people like yourself that are willing to share information and help point us in directions that may help us learn and grow.

No matter how unconventionally we may get there, its sites like these that help keep us on track. When it comes to learning at least, William is right, anything goes.


Dana Cooper Fine Art said...

This is beautiful Amanda, I love the color peaking through from the underpainting!

Edward Burton said...

Very beautiful, Amanda - it has a wonderful atmosphere to it. I also like the color peaking through it. Well done!