Friday, April 13, 2012

Somewhere In-between

Somewhere Creek    9x12     oil
I guess this continues the line of thinking from my last post in that it has to do with what I end up painting.  Going out into the landscape to paint from nature is the best catalyst I know of for figuring out what you want to do with paint.  It's overwhelming!  You have to develop ways of underwhelming it a bit.  There's just way too much going on to deal with it all.  We have to be selective.  Once we begin to get some things under control, we can expand our attention to the next challenges.

After developing tactics for dealing with wind, sunburn, insects, equipment, etc., we can focus on specific things we'd like to see happen in our art, better values, better color, better composition and so on.  Determination and persistence take us through the inevitable frustrations.  Sometimes I wonder how anybody comes back with anything at all.  Sometimes I see I'm learning some things, and that fuels my drive.

One of the biggest benefits I've gained from painting outdoors is the realization that we aren't hostages to what we see.  We take from the landscape the facts and effects that enable us to create something we feel.  The physical subject is a trigger for expressing the things we feel in terms of what we find beautiful.  What we come home with is something in-between the physical facts before us and the place our own imagination wants to go.  I think painting outdoors is really about learning how to get there more dependably, and bringing back more of what we found.  

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