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Monday, August 14, 2017

25 Truisms of Plein Air Painting

"Warm in the Storm"
Oil on linen - 8x10"

I'm resurrecting a post from a few years back because I think it's a good reminder for all of us, especially me!

This list is inspired by lots of personal experience - including some masterful whining - and from noticing, in teaching hundreds plein air students, that for artists new to the plein air game, there seems to be an idea that it is supposed to be, hmmm - easier.

25 Truisms of Plein Air Painting

  1. There will be rain.
  2. You will be cold.
  3. There will be sun. 
  4. You will be hot.
  5. It will be windy.
  6. Your easel will fly.
  7. Bugs will bite you. Right on the back of your neck just as you are laying in the key highlight on the water.
  8. People, curious people with no sense of personal boundaries, will appear from out of nowhere behind you and enthusiastically exclaim, "Hey! Can I see what yer doin'?" Usually just as your painting has entered the ugly duckling stage.
  9. You will fight with your gear.
  10. Your gear will win. 
  11. You will bring way too much stuff.
  12. You'll vow to downsize.
  13. It will take a very, very, very long time for this to occur.
  14. Your painting will look nothing like what's in front of you. Most of the time. This can be good. This can be bad.
  15. You will learn and grow and improve each time you go out.
  16. It won't feel like it.
  17. You will feel frustrated, lost, confused, hopeless and very much like a total beginner. Alot. 
  18. You'll feel like you will never get it.
  19. You will get it. 
  20. You will develop superpowers of sight. 
  21. You will build character.
  22. You'll have rich experiences that will turn into treasured memories.
  23. You'll deepen friendships through the bond of shared adventure.
  24. There will be a sense of passion, joy, peace, inspiration, connection, and wonder available to you every time you go out. 
  25. 24 is the very best part. And the easiest to lose sight of. Unless you forget easy, forget comfortable, forget outcome; and tune in to that.