My photograph of Mount Thielsen, Oregon . . . should I paint it in my studio or just go there and paint en plein air?
My first love is the out of doors and painting en plein air, but since the weather here isn't always perfect even in the summer, the studio is a logical respite. I have spent a lot of time in my studio this year, too much time. But, the reality is that studio work is an integral part of this artist's life.
I am committed to working from life, either in the studio with still life setups or outside on location. I take a lot of reference photos which I use in my studio when composing a new studio painting. The thing that I must learn to do in my studio paintings is to paint in the same manner as the plein air pieces. That is, with a lot of paint and spontaneity.
Watercolor is a seductive medium with a will of its own and I work constantly towards conquering it or at least feeling somewhat successful! I spend many hours working on composition, values and technique. When I achieve perfection I will let you know!
Oil painting is a constant challenge and a medium that I feel is more conducive to working en plein air. My goal is to spend more time outdoors painting either in oil or watercolor this year and perhaps encourage others to join me for a plein air class in this Spring and Summer. I intend to push myself "out there"!
Teaching is a wonderful learning experience, since it requires that the instructor be ‘brushed up’ on her knowledge, and having to verbalize that knowledge reinforces it. It’s also amazing how much students give in return.