I find that if I am going to grow as an artist, I need to continue to step outside of my comfort zone and try new and challenging things. And so I tried plein air painting again, only this time in a workshop with Robert O’Brien.
I was better prepared this time- bringing a chair and an easel, a view finder, smaller paper and larger brushes. Robert’s demo emphasized choosing your topic, composition and color, drawing minimally and working quickly. Learning to ‘see’ is key to creating a painting. Preparing larger puddles of the needed colors also lets you paint without the interruption of having to mix paint. Because everything dries so much faster than in the studio, once you are working on the painting,you have to work more quickly. The goal is to capture the essense of the place and your feelings about it. Let the details go and only "suggest" the less important portions. You might not finish your painting, or you might just be doing sketches to work from later. Taking some photos will also be a helpful reference if you will work on it later in the studio. This time I was better able to enjoy the experience and learned alot about working in a much different manner than I am accustomed to. I will definitely have to try it again on my own. Nothing ventured nothing gained, right?