Discover more from The Pondering of an Artist
Wind, Watercolours & Painting Plein Air
How it has affected my well-being and nurtured my soul…
“Painting directly from nature lends itself to a more intimate infusion of the subject... Despite the inconvenience, and sometimes tortuous conditions of wind, rain, bugs and extreme weather conditions, something inexplicable gets into the painting that seldom appears in a studio piece. “
- Guy Corriero
A few weeks ago I was inspired to take a summer break, to unplug, to take some much needed time for myself and so I wrote a summer bucket list. Here in Britain, after experiencing a glorious summery June, the weather has taken a turn and has spiralled us into what feels like autumn, or at least that’s how I feel here on the southwest coast in my corner of the world. One of my items on my list was to put together an outdoor art kit, get outside and paint. Well, for those of you that read my last post will know that I did get outside to paint, albeit in between rain showers and wind, but I did it. I have also shared a video on my YouTube channel so if you haven’t already seen it then please head over to my channel and subscribe, I am in need of your support.
Having drawn and painted for many years I hadn’t painted outside since I was a child. I remember running home from school on a fine day with the intention of grabbing my pencils and paper and getting outside into the garden to draw. Being outside to create art felt special and freeing so I made a promise to myself that I would listen to my inner child again, put together a plein air kit and get outside into nature.
I took my brief opportunity to get on the beach and paint and I absolutely loved it, the time was irrelevant, my senses were tuned in, the sound of the wind, the waves, the birds, observing the smallest of details in the surrounding hills, the patterns on the fields, the birds flying in the sky, the tiny properties in the distance, the family flying their kite on the beach and the children in the rock pools with their nets. Painting plein air is so much more than creating art, it’s using art to find peace, relaxation and positivity.
I found inspiration instantly from my surroundings, the process was calming, a form of meditation where I was able to just let go. This was my first plein air experience as an adult and I had to tell myself that the outcome didn’t matter, I wasn’t there to create a masterpiece, I was there to just play, to feel like that child again who was so excited to get home from school to draw in the back garden, no expectations, no concerns about composition or scale, no pressure, just time outside, breathing in the fresh air and creating art in my sketchbook.
“For me, plein air painting is about taking home memories - contemplating the subject with all senses. Smell, touch, temperature, weather - the feeling of warm sun or the start of a rainstorm, for example - and sound.”
- Melissa Jean
The experience was brief, but I did what I wanted to do, I managed to pack up my art things and blanket, getting back to the car just before it rained. I got home feeling uplifted, more confident and looking forward to my next plein air outing, even if it is just in my back garden.
My next post will be about having a space to be able to create art so if you have enjoyed this post then please subscribe and leave a comment, it makes me happy when you do.
Stay naturally curious…
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