|15 Street Rise, 8x10, oil|
I sort of have a love-hate relationship with my plein air work. A good bit of these studies get wiped down, reworked back in the studio, or just stay in my studio for reference. Occasionally I'll return home with something I feel good about, but typically I don't love what I bring back from the field.
|Fleeting Light Along Tumalo Creek, 8x10, oil|
As I was looking back through some recent field studies, despite some of the flaws that I know are there, I notice a more genuine sense of light that I'm able to capture in those quick studies than I probably would have if I was working from only a photo of the location. Most artists who paint in the field and from photos are already aware of how photos alter values and temperature. But a genuine capture of light goes beyond that...it captures a certain authenticity of the outdoor location.
|View From Locust Street, 8x10, oil|
I've been struggling with painting a particular spot near my home. The image that my photo captures gives me such a completely different sense of light than what I see when I'm there in person. I've tried twice to paint it on location. It's a typical high-desert area of central Oregon, with Juniper trees and sagebrush ...very different vegetation than anywhere I've ever lived before we moved here back in May. I've been going back and forth between my plein air attempts and a studio attempt, referencing the photo, but depending more on my memory of the location than the photo. I'll go back and try again. Hopefully as I live with the landscape some more, I'll better understand how to paint it.
For now, a steady practice of plein air painting--whether good or bad--proves invaluable to my studio work. I look back at studio work from just a few years ago and realize now how several more years of field studies since then have helped me better understand the landscape.
The work shown here was all painted on location within the past two months.