Water HouseFor an artist there is nothing like a day at the easel.  Plein Air Painting requires patience and endurance. Unfortunately, some days turn into a “daze”  at the easel!  Kidding aside, I find I go into a place called the “zone” where time has no meaning and my surroundings dim from view; all I see is the canvas and my paints.  A few years ago it became obvious to me that the more time I spent in the studio the less  time I spent correcting previous errors.   I began to paint better all the way around.  Being primarily a plein air painter, days at the easel has more meaning.

My best and highest use of my time however, is being a plein air painter (outdoors).  Just being outside gives me a lift and it comes through the paintings into a second life.  Lately, I’ve noticed that my paintings can start plein air and end up being finished in my studio.  A whole host of “rules” for plein air work do not seem to apply to me as I do my own thing.  First of all, I paint on larger canvases and I sometimes return to the same spot for a few days in a row.  “Water House” a 30 by 40 inch oil, started as a plein air piece but I traded a scene in Nevada for a scene near Apache Junction in Arizona half way through.  I finished this one in the studio.  It took more than a few days at the easel.  In fact this painting has been in process for about 8 years.

I was honored to find out the Southwest Pastel Society choose one of my pieces to exhibit in Texas.   Days on the easel with Maroon Lake“Maroon Lake” was done on a plein air session a few years back.  It is one of my all time favorite pastels.