January 12, 2013

The Great Escape

View from Carpenteria, 8X10" oil on canvas panel

I'm outta here and back to the beaches, meadows and hills of Santa Barbara, and it's beautiful warm light.  I will be teaching a keen bunch of painters while I am down there, and I am busy preparing and packing for that today.  The painting above is from my sojourn to California last winter.

What to teach?

That is the question that I am asking myself - there will be a wide range of experience levels, as always, but what is the common demoninator of painting, and more specifically to painting on location - what is the gist, the gestalt of the process? Here's what is coming up for me:  Seeing, deciding, simplifying.


I enjoy helping people learn to see - to really SEE.  They already know how, but just need to be reminded.  Sometimes we look, but don't see - just as we can hear without listening.  It take focus and intention and effort to really see.  What color and tone is that distant hill- really?  Not just a guess....take the time to get it right.


It takes courage to make a decision about what to paint - there is so much to choose from, and how to know what to paint?  Much of that comes with experience.  Start with what is engaging you, and then don't second guess - you don't have the time.  Find an interesting design in it, and then start.


Less is always more - getting stuck in the minutiae is a luxury you cannot afford.  "Take notice of that which is inconsequential, and then ignore it" - can't remember who said it, but it is excellent advice for those that would paint outdoors.

My next post will be from Sunny Santa Barbara - I wish I could take all of you with me!



Jan 18-21, Santa Barbara CA - Plein Air Painting
March 22-25, Sorrento BC - Painting Light and Color
April 30-May 10  Croatia - Plein Air Painting

For details, CLICK HERE

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