Summer in the Pacific Northwest is lovely and this year it was warmer and longer than usual. Since it had been a few years since I had done much oil painting outdoors, I signed up for a 3-day July workshop taught by Mitchell Albala, author of Landscape Painting: Essential Concepts for Plein Air and Studio Practice. The location, Orcas Island, has beautiful views everywhere one looks. Mitch's lessons in a systematic and logical approach to tackling this complex subject helped me to be more efficient and effective in capturing my surroundings. We students in the painting group, and my family members who accompanied me, had fun, too! Back in Seattle, I bought myself a new compact pochade box that attaches to a camera tripod and took it out for a few short local excursions. At right, Pochade box in action, Gasworks Park, Seattle.
What is so enjoyable to me about plein air painting, along with the pleasure of being outdoors, is the opportunity for direct response to and engagement with the subject, along with the limited time available to dither about. In this way, it is similar to working from the life model. I don't worry about the concept other than the purely visual factors of composition and color, and I go for a straightforward interpretation of the scene in front of me. It is Fall now, but the weather is still nice; I hope I can get back out there a few times before the rains set in. Left, Small sketch on paper of the river bend at Bothell Landing Park.
Here I will keep you up to date on my exhibits and other artistic endeavors.