Please click on paintings to view larger.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

100 plein air paintings in 100 days - #50/#51

#50 - "Forest Patterns"
Original Oil 6x8"

10/06/18 (3:30pm)
I had just completed packing up this painting and was unscrewing my box from the tripod when it got away on me and tumbled about 30 feet down a steep hillside, bouncing and cartwheeling all the way. I was with Gaye and Lily and the 3 of us stood in awed silence watching it, wondering if it would go all the way to the bottom. It did. This is a testament to the solid construction of Ben's boxes. Not a dent, nothing broken, and though the painting was shaken loose it only had a couple of minor scratches to be touched up.

#51 - "Shoreline Study"
Original Oil 6x8"

10/06/19 (5:45pm)
Loved this the minute I saw it, the only decision was whether to push the shoreline high and make it about the water, or low and make it about the trees. Either way would have worked, but I'm glad I chose this one.

I have discovered that there seem to be 3 distinct approaches that I fall into when painting plein air:

  1. Uninspired by the scene, I tap into the energy of the place and, drawing on a few key elements that are present, make up a painting (#50)
  2. Inspired by the subject, I try to nail exactly what's in front of me (#51)
  3. Inspired by the subject, I try to get down my best impression of it in a fast, loose manner
I think they are all valuable approaches for their own reasons, and instead of trying to choose one (which I thought this project would help me narrow down), I've decided it's best to get good at all of them and then let the situation dictate.


  1. What gems these two are, and what a tale of the tumbling paint box!I appreciate your list of three approaches, especially in contrast to Robert Genn's similar list from last week (in his newsletter). Yours makes more sense to me, and it is the third approach I want to master (the second being what I do most often, with a little of the first thrown in - mainly to leave things out).

  2. # 50 turned out to be one tough painting. Well done for being half way through this challenge!

  3. Great blog, beautiful paintings... So glad to discover your work, will be back for more.