Thursday, July 9, 2020

Follow your own heart!

"Parley Lake Vineyards".  watercolor
11" x 14" image   $195
I started plein air painting (painting outdoors) 2 years ago, while wintering in Florida.  Last year, when I was painting with friends from Minnesota who were there vacationing, one of them said, "I can't wait to see what you do, Karen, with your abstract mind."  Till then, I had been painting traditional paintings while on location, and it really got me to thinking.  So, instinctively, I slashed a red color across the page, and then had to deal with it.  It gave me permission to be abstract!  From that day on, I've been painting like "myself" while outdoors, allowing myself to paint abstractly, and it opened up a whole new world to me.  This painting was done 2 weeks ago at a really cool vineyard in Excelsior, MN, that has countless possibilities for paintings.  My first obstacle was to try to draw the barn, using my perspective rules.  That was hard for me, but I felt like I did pretty well.  The thing about plein air paintings, is that upon viewing them, years later, you remember the sounds, who you were with, the temperature that day, everything!  You really are "in the moment".  That's one of my favorite things about plein air.  If you haven't tried it, please do consider it!  It truly will make you a better artist, and will get you out in nature too.  A tip from me:  I found out that I had to paint direct painting style.  Wetting the paper first didn't work for me.  Once I started just painting more directly  I liked the results better.  These end up being studies for larger studio paintings.  Below is the beginning stage of my painting.

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