Some mornings are just blessed from the beginning. The sun is shining, the breeze is gentle and the colors will blow your mind. The bees are curious, the horses are wary and you experience a morning like no other. That is why I like painting in the outdoors. It reminds me how small I am in the scheme of things, and how all of it will go on long after I am gone. So while I am here, I want to leave my impression of it all. That is a small part of why I paint ‘en plein air’. To show how it is in my eyes, and to give thanks for the existence of it, me and all.
Wow. Heavy for so early in the day. But being in the outdoors is somehow more spiritual to me than being in a church. Everybody has their affinities. Being outside, painting is mine. This is a typical plan and layin stage.
The cottonwoods are passing peak, losing their leaves, and the breeze does have a bite to it, when it blows. The sun is still warm, but soon the colors will fade, the leaves will fall, and winter will descend. So while it is still a riot of color, I drove to Arenas Valley, parked my car, upset the deer in the field and set up my paints. I only painted two small studies. Only 6 x 6 in size. I tried to capture the lights and darks, the brightness of the yellows, the temporary quality of it all.
This tree is massive. It dominates the road. Its color lit up the sky. How could I not paint it? I could have panted that tree all day if I had not gotten cold standing there. Time for layers when I go out, I think. The shadows were great and really defined the solidity of that tree.
This is ‘Colors of Cottonwood’. It is only a 6x6 oil on board. Tiny, but its impact is massive.
The other painting I did that yesterday, is of a tree lined gully, filled with bushes, trees and golden leaves. I tried to paint the scene, the sun spilling down between the limbs, but it was an ambitious undertaking. This painting is somehow way more abstract than the first one I did. I do not know if I succeeded. I shall have to live with it for a while. But this little 6x6 oil is called ‘And the Deer Hide Here’.
You really couldn’t see them once they got into the thicket. Smart little buggers. It’s still hunting season here. I am sure they came out in the sunshine once I left.
Can you tell I love a fall palette?
Art begins with resistance - at the point where resistance is overcome. No human masterpiece has ever been created without great labor. (Andre Gide)
To learn about a plein air competition for the benefit of the Wounded Warrior Project, and to win cash prizes and a chance for a two person show, click here and go to Downloads.