A boy scout, I ain’t

“Always be prepared”? That’s a good motto. Unfortunately, when I got to my plein air  site tonight with about 45 minutes of light left, I realized I forgot my turpentine. Not a deal breaker as far as painting something, but as painters can attest, it does put a cramp in ones style to paint “fat over fat.” But I pressed on and made the best of it.

I’ve been trying to commit to paint more from life or “plein air.” It’s said by most artists that this is the key to growth and true mastery. That’s probably true. But I’m an analytical, technical person, and I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I’m supposed to be gleaning from these experiences besides the practice of pulling off a worthy painting with limited time and with challenging variables. Oh well, I’m committed to making it more of a habit.

I painted a 9×12 on Saturday night. The light was very gray and drab, but I was satisfied with the painting.

Tonight, a smaller 6×8. It was sunny, but I arrived later than I would’ve preferred, and with no turpentine. Nevertheless, I finished, and learned.

Here they are. I present these not as an example of exemplary work, rather as simple documentation of the progress I hope to show. So this is the “before.”

New Diggs

Well, I’m settling in to my new painting set up. It took a while to get the lighting arranged, but we’re up and going. I’m working on a larger version of a study I did a while back. The small (9×12) version turned out so well, I thought I’d blow ‘er up.

It’s been a challenge. Things that worked as a small brush stroke in the smaller piece now have to be orchestrated into a coherent passage in the larger painting. It’ going reasonably well tho, and I’m confident she’ll pull together in the end;)  I’ll post both for comparison when this one is done.

A path of my own

Many things running thru my mind lately relating to painting. The past year has been a somewhat involuntary hiatus. Just way too busy. Too many life changes. All of them good; new baby, new job, new house, but man, life can move fast and crowd out things one would like to make time for.
But, things have settled down a bit, and I’ve enjoyed the prospect of a dedicated studio space and painting consistently again.
The time away, as it always does, has rekindled some interest and growth. I’ve come across some valuable instructional videos that have opened my eyes to knowledge that I’m looking forward to incorporating in my work.
Mostly, I’ve been thinking more about the influences I’ve had, and study I’ve done over the past years. I’ve come to realize that while one never stops learning,  I’m ready to start asking some deeper questions as it relates to painting. Rather than “what would Schmid paint?” or “what is the ‘correct’ way to handle this?” how about, “what do I truly find visually interesting” or “left to myself, what do I want to paint.”
May seem like questions that should have been asked long ago, but I think it’s important to have some tools in your belt before you start building. I’m realizing more and more that I have the tools, the head knowledge, the knowledge of what I appreciate, and whose work I admire. Now it’s time to do some of my own. Not that I won’t be influenced, rather I’ve become confident enough to not look to those influences first.
I guess it’s a new chapter. I’ve slowed down and let the tour guide and the rest of the group disappear around the bend, and I can catch back up if I want, but for now, I’m gonna explore a little on my own:)