The plein air tradition comes from academically-trained artists who worked in the field to gather reference material for studio paintings. Today, many of us go out to hone our observational skills or for the pure pleasure of being outside. But whatever the reason, we who paint in this tradition adhere to a few rules:
- We select a motif, such as a tree, and build a composition around it to support that motif;
- We use principles of linear and aerial perspective to create an illusion of reality; and finally,
- We are sensitive the changes of lighting and weather over time. If we bring these changes to the painting unmindfully, the painting will be full of inconsistent shadows and color, thus destroying the illusion we're trying to build.
For a traditional plein air painter as myself, I enjoy looking at the freshness of his pieces. By the way, today he has gone off to the Grand Canyon. I can't wait to see what he comes back with!
Here are a few from this week. They are all either 3x3 or larger. (All by permission.) For more on Peter, visit: www.artofpeterlewis.com