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Jul 13, 2010

Plein and Simple

"Mirror Lake" - 8" x 10" - oil

A few weeks ago I was invited to paint with the Ohio Plein Air group. For those of you who aren't familiar with the term "plein air" it is a French term that means painting in outdoor daylight or on location. The Ohio Plein Air group meets every week at a different location in the Columbus area.

Initially I was a little nervous about joining the group because you never know how you or your work will be received. Also, if you don't know by now I like to paint in the studio with the comfort of a controlled setting where I can leave a painting for a few days and get back to it when the time is right. This invitation was just the challenge/experience that I needed. The first couple of trips out I felt like I was on some sick game show for artists. I was fumbling around looking for the right brush, I couldn't paint fast enough and I was overly concerned with details...total nightmare.

Last week things started to come together while painting at Mirror Lake on The Ohio State University Campus. This was probably the first of the plein air paintings that I was somewhat pleased with. There are things that I would change if I had to do it again but I wouldn't change the overall experience.

9 comments:

Queen*B Studio said...

Well Steven I think this piece is great! I can understand what you mean about not being in control with plein air. I think about doing it but can't imagine trying to finish a piece that fast. I would rather work at my own pace like you mentioned.

Can't wait to see what else you come up with!

Dawn

Steven S. Walker said...

Thank you Dawn! The key for me was realizing that I can't worry abou the details. The experience has helped me to take care of my studio pieces even faster.

Queen*B Studio said...

Your right about that, I'm obsessed with detail so I think I'd flunk plein air work :) Wish I could just let go LOL!

Steven S. Walker said...

Try a strong drink or painting when you're extremely tired.

Disclaimer-Steven Walker Studios does not promote or condone the use of alcoholic beverages while painting but can totally understand it.

Queen*B Studio said...

LMAO!! I just might do that as an experiment!!

Kathleen Krucoff said...

I love the result Steven and enjoyed your thoughts about the whole process. Sounded like a double edged sword at the beginning that eventually worked out. It's good to know you will continue to do plein air paintings. It's hard for me to step outside of my comfort zone, but I know it's good for me to help me to grow as an artist in my mediums. You've help to reinforce that it is something I must do too! Thanks!

Steven S. Walker said...

Hi there Kathleen! It was extremely tough and a little depressing at first but like you said it did work out. I'm glad that you were able to take something from my post and I hope that you try to get out of your comfort zome even if you don't make it public.

Cheryl Anderson said...

This is great, Steve! Plein air is the hardest type of painting in my book, and you've nailed it--not to mention doing a fountain which I also think is hard to do. Thanks for your kind words about my painting. Somehow I accidentally deleted your comment and can't seem to get it back, but know that I appreciate your time and comments!

cheri said...

Hi Steven..wow..gorgeous..I have lurked and observed artists locally painting plein air...one day I will try (wearing a large floppy hat & baggy clothes to keep myself well disguised)...I am nervous about racing against the light..but at the same time excited to try...I think to do want to be alone...seems creepy..but appropriate lol....I mentored with Michael Newberry (michaelnewberry.com) about 6 years ago (I am certain I am long forgotten ha ha)..but I was awestruck with his process and childlike approach...lucky to have been there...Thanks for your blog...good stuff...I will be back slinking later :)..hope I am not creeping you out ha ha..Cheryl

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