I'm preparing curriculum and equipment to teach a plein aire class in Tuscany, Italy.
I'm excited, nervous, and jittery, but, most of all, I'm planning everything as carefully as I possibly can so that the STUDENTS will have the TIME of their LIFE.
I've been painting outdoors as much as I can during the past two weeks, trying to warm up my plein aire skills. It's quite a switch to move from painting in the studio to painting outdoors. My neighbor, friend and patron, Jean, was asking me yesterday what could be different in plein aire painting? We had a long conversation and, truthfully, I probably gave her more explanation than I needed to. In short, I can put lots of those little details I love in my studio work but, when I'm working outdoors, I have to contend with weather, tourists and drying paint, so I only have time to capture a moment and place in time. For me, I try to work as quickly as possible, before the light changes, leaving out as many details as I can, connecting the large forms and shapes and, hopefully, coming up with a more simplistic view that really captures the day, the scene, the time and the feeling. Plein Aire may minimize details, but it usually makes it up in emotion. The viewer really ought to feel like they're STANDING right there in the scene.
Catch me in Frederick, MD, beginning June 22nd, as part of the Easels in Frederick national plein aire competition. Completed works will be on exhibit on June 26, 2011, at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center in Frederick, MD .
My painting, Morning in the City, has been selected for the National Watercolor Society Show, on exhibit at the NWS Gallery at 915 S. Pacific Avenue in San Pedro, CA during May 2011.
Curiosity, Light and Shadows has been selected for the International Watermedia XVII Exhibit, sponsored by the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society, Colorado Springs, CO during June and July 2011. This painting is included in today's blog.