Plein air painting; Top 10 things I love

Here is a follow up to my previous top 10 list about painting on location. You will notice that some of the things that I cited as pains in the tuccus are also some of the very things I love. And there is a lot more to love than what I've written below! 

  1. The challenge of racing against time to capture the ever changing light. 
  2. Appreciating the beauty of the natural world firsthand.
  3. Being outside to witness the special quality of light that comes early in the morning (before breakfast) and just before sunset (around dinner time).
  4. Getting lost in the experience (this happens for me in the studio, but not as intensely as it does when I'm painting on location. I lose all track of time and am able to be in hyper-focus.)
  5. Those ah-ha paintings-- When everything about the painting experience gels and you've said everything you wanted to say with an economy of brushstroke and a real understanding of the light (makes all those other half-finished plein air studies worthwhile!)
  6. Connecting with so many kind and interesting people from all over the world.
  7. Using all of your senses to create--seeing so much more color and information in nature than it is ever possible to see in photographs.
  8. The challenge of editing out some of that color and information to make a cohesive and well composed painting.
  9. Painting along with other artists and seeing how differently they interpret the same scene.
  10. Those moments of quiet solitude, but not really feeling "alone" because you are a part of it all!