Working methods and habits – good and not so good - evolve over time. When you change your environment, new challenges - beyond the equipment and physical ones - emerge. Painting en plein air – without my comfortable studio set-up, photos and computer, challenged me to paint differently. I learned to be much more ‘in the moment’, make creative decisions more quickly, and paint more spontaneously. I had no props – just what I saw in front of me. I didn't care about 'wasting paint' (ideally less to take home in my suitcase) or paper (I had more). After a three hour dose of this kind of work each morning, I felt more creatively free back in the studio, in the afternoon.
Keeping this experience in mind, I hope to continue to do some weekly plein air painting this summer, and continue to paint with less reliance on my props and studio environment, and more creatively.
The two landscape paintings I recently posted (above), and two I did in France (below) are examples of what I hope to try more of in the next few weeks. Namely, painting the essence of the view/place in a relatively natural style, and then de-constructing it, and painting simplified, abstracted versions. It’s not that this is necessarily a new direction, it's just that I am trying to be more conscious of what I am doing and why.