Painting on location. Sedona

Well it is always a challenge to work on location anywhere – but if you can dress for it and anticipate the weather – and keep your digits warm it can be the most rewarding experience. I find the direct views and demand for speed working under outdoor conditions creates a “looseness” and freedom that I can never quite acheive in the studio – or from photos.

It has been great to be around like minded people (Plein Air painters are a breed apart…) this past week and share the days together. Discussing equiptment, color temperature, shadows, reflected light and changing conditions. It has also been really nice to be on the recieving end – on the other side of the desk – so to speak. To enjoy being the student this time – not the teacher.

After painting for so many years – in my own style – I consider this very much an exercise in being open to new ideas, use of materials and techniques. Thats not really an easy thing for me. As a practicing artist you tend to address a new subject with your own set of “tools”…skills and choices that come easily. (especially under stressful outdoor conditions with a time restraint) It is always a challenge for me to approach a new subject and meet the demands of replicating or rendering to a sufficient degree – but I tend to rely on those tried and true methods and formulas that have taken years to develop.
My style. The choices I make for each painting…subject, composition, palette and brushwork. The character of my work is reflected in most things I do because of this.

This week I have been a student. Playing and experimenting with color. Flexing new methods and trying new directions. Some things I may add or apply to my personal “tool” kit…and incorporate into my creative choices.

So please consider these exercises – they may be reworked, further developed or scrapped.
It is not always about the outcome… trying to achieve masterpieces – but  having some fun as I learn and practice my craft.



This last painting is probably closest to how I would have typically handled this subject. A mid-colored burnt sienna ground, with a darker line applied. Blocking in the composition colors and then refining the values as the subjects and placement develop. it was the fastest and easiest to complete…no surprise.

I would like to work further on a direction where the masses of simple shapes, with tints of value and temperature live..with some looser brush work and less “drawing” with the brush. But that is somewhere many paintings down the road.


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