June 1, 2011
"Silver Creek Farm" 8X10"
As I continue to paint in the great outdoors, I have conversations with more and more painters around why they do not bother. The reasons are many, and they run all the way from mosquito problems to dealings with distracting passersby. The biggest reason I hear is "I never like anything I paint outdoors - I'm no good at it".
I think outdoor painting has got to be the most challenging of all subjects, except maybe painting from the live model. That's why we avoid doing it, and that is why we don't get better at it. The hook for me is that I don't just get better at "it", i.e. outdoor painting, I get better at painting period from merely engaging in the attempt of painting outdoors. My eye sharpens, my concentration sharpens, my color mixing skills improve, precisely because it is a difficult process and I am challenging myself, much in the way we build muscles by overloading them.
It's an art "work out". No paint no gain.