Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Observing Trees to Paint in Studio

Notes From My Tree Painting Journal

This is a painting I've wanted to do for some time. It is a favorite scene for me at Fair Oaks. It was the last painting I did at my residency there last week. I am back in my own studio for a few days and leave again to go paint the trees at Wekiva State Park for a week, leaving here on Sunday.

There was more than one angle of this tree group that was nice, so I may do another one of this scene in the future. Staying at Fair Oaks made it possible for me to drive out to the scene several times to sit and look at it for a bit between painting sessions. The longer I paint, the more convinced I am that really observing a scene rather than painting it is a good marriage between studio painting and the real outdoors. I enjoy painting on site but not as much as just observing and taking my ideas back to the studio to work on larger paintings. I have painted on location for about 25 years now and have gone through many experiences, good and bad paintings and gradually have come to understand that I am simply a better studio painter. I now think of plein air as research for studio work. It is fun, but simply a means to the end in my studio.

There is so much to learn about painting trees that I expect they will keep me occupied with practice for many more years to come, both on location and in my studio.

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