Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Get Out!


And that could mean outdoors - which we know soothes the soul.
Or outside your comfort zone, which does the opposite.

Both are worthwhile, and for me plein air painting encompasses both. Taking in spectacular views and breathing in the fresh air relaxes...and then trying to paint what I see before the light changes totally stresses me out!

Last year I had an awesome indoctrination into the world of plein air painting at Julian Merro-Smith's workshop in Provence. Apparently, it takes the promise of French wine and living in a converted 5thC Priory to entice me out of my comfort zone! (you can read about it here)

Within 36 hours of being home, and with the energy imbued on that trip, I joined a group of intrepid plein air painters at Olana (artist Frederic Church's home). I thought I was on a roll!

View from Olana, ©2013 Dorothy Lorenze
Not so much. But that's OK. I got a taste for outdoor painting. I got my feet wet. Literally. I will get back to it again someday (as it no longer terrifies me). Scoping outdoor sites for good painting compositions has added a new dimension to how I appreciate nature and that's a good thing.

In the comfort (zone) of my studio, I have occasionally accessed the spirit of plein air painting working from a photo. This is a painting of birches from a photo take in Kent. CT. Along with the Olana painting, it was sold at a "paintout" auction benefitting Kent Art Association. (It's very cool to stand in the back of the room and see hands going up for bids on your work!)

Bog Hollow Road Birches ©2013 Dorothy Lorenze
Hiking to the perfect spot with easel and other gear makes painting outdoors a tough sport. But, like all athletic challenges, when it finally goes well the rewards are all the better for having overcome trials and tribulations. Mother Nature can be a bitch.

Happy Earth Day! Be good to your Mother.

Thanks for stopping by to see my artwork and read my stories.

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