I live in Colorado, but I'm not a "Colorado girl". There is this Colorado lifestyle that people here talk about - we have tons of parks and trails in the Denver area, and of course the mountains are a short drive away. If you live here you're supposed to want to take advantage of all that stuff. You're supposed to own bikes and skis and snowshoes...but honestly? I'm just not outdoorsy - I'm a city girl at heart.
Don't get me wrong - I love sunshine, fresh air, and to look at beautiful scenery. But I don't like bugs (perhaps it's because they LOVE me) and I really don't like trekking through the wilderness with all of my painting gear!
However...I do like painting outside. If I had a backyard, I would paint outside all of the time. So this summer, I've decided to give plein air painting another chance. My BFF is an artist and is definitely outdoorsy. Happily, she found some spots where we wouldn't have to trek too far. We've gone out three times now aaaaaand...it's been awesome! We set up by a bubbling stream and paint for hours.
Which brings me to another plein air challenge for me; all of that green!While it's ever so beautiful to look at, I find it rather dull to paint. It just doesn't move me.
In the end I came away with a finepainting. I'm not thrilled with it. It's just...fine. It took me a bit to understand why I didn't like my painting: it just doesn't feel like me.
Getting to the crux of why I didn't like my painting was a huge aha moment! I don't like the painting because I wasn't true to myself.I did take somecreative license, but really, I was trying to paint what I saw, not what I felt.
So, it turns out plein air painting is fantastic! I just need to let go of the idea that I need to paint realistically - or that I need to paint what's in front of me. I need to be true to my own artistic vision, rather than being true to the actual scenery.
I can't wait to get back out there and shake things up!
Here is one of two paintings that I did - it was mostly finished, but now that it's back in the studio, I'll change it up and make it more mine.
I am a teaching artist with a passion for expression, creativity, and using art as a way to work through the muck of life.