Painting outdoors introduces many new variables to the painting process. The sun progressing across the sky shifts the shadows cast by trees and buildings. Clouds transform further affecting the lighting and composition. The wind causes the grasses and leaves to sway or dance. The wind has even toppled my easel. The tide rises and falls. Everything is in a constant state of flux. Painting becomes immediate in nature. I must paint faster and looser in order to get as much down as possible before my view changes too dramatically. If necessary, I’ll return the following day to finish off the painting. I find outdoor painting exhilarating.
I’ll often join other plein air painters for a “paint-out” or enjoy the company of other artists as I peruse their work on the internet. Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper are just a few of my favorites. The majestic photography of my friend, James Snyder, also inspires me. Standing on the shoulders of these giants helps me see so much farther.