December 20, 2010
I'm back from Santa Barbara, and the beauty of the place has left an indelible mark in my memory and in my heart. One of the profound joys of plein air painting is that viewing the image painted on location instantly transports me back to that moment. The salt air, the crying of the gulls as they fished in the surf, feeling the wind on my face, sun on my skin. Most days I painted in bare feet.
I also recall my desire to drop my brushes in the middle of this painting and join the many surfers that were out this day. (I suppose I should mention that I have no clue how to surf). That was the only moment in which it occurred to me that I was there to work.
It is a wonderful thing to spend time painting in such a place; the process is meditative for me. And it occurs to me how blessed I am to have occasion and opportunity to indulge my need to be immersed in nature.
I don't have a painting tip for you this time, just an exhortation around the zen of the plein air experience. I wish it for all of you. My cup runneth over.