6x6" oil on Gessobord
These houses are a few blocks from my house. I painted this with a single large brush. I was thinking of painting something Valentine's Day related but I just couldn't make it happen. Happy Valentine's Day anyway! On another note....
The Plein Air Question
When I first started painting I was told that you shouldn't paint from photographs. I read this in books mostly. I've continued to hear this over the years and I'm wondering how painters and collectors feel about it.
I've painted countless paintings en plein air and I don't think they're any better than the ones I've done from digital images. In fact, they're usually not as good. Some plein air painters talk about capturing the smell of the salt air or the sound of the wind through the pines in their paintings. That hasn't happened for me.
Others will talk about there not being enough information in photographs. "The shadows are too dark" or the "lights are blown out". That may be true for prints but not on a computer. You can boost or reduce the exposure in seconds.
Another argument is that plein air painting forces you to paint looser and more spontaneously. I'm not so sure about that one either. I think looser paint handling comes with confidence and experience (and a desire to paint in that style of course). I think how one handles the paint has more to do with personal choice than the environment in which one paints.
The way I see it, plein air painting is a lovely way to spend some time outdoors (as long as there aren't any bugs and it's not too hot, cold or windy). It's especially nice to do with others. I don't think it makes a painting more valid. Digital photography is just another tool. It allows us to capture and paint moments that we wouldn't otherwise have a chance to paint. I suppose some folks will disapprove just as some disapproved of paint in tubes. "You must grind your own pigments and mix your own colors or it isn't art!!"
Ok, I'm thinking too much. I need to get out of the studio, maybe I'll go do a painting outdoors. But I'm not expecting it to be a keeper. Oh yeah... and I'm bringing my camera!!