"Lee Mountain Shadows" 8x10, oil - $150 - contact Michael
"Remember to breathe," I admonish my students. Holding your breath when executing a precise painting stroke is commonplace. (I'm guilty of that, and more - I even clench my teeth. Bruxism can make the enamel of your teeth spall, much like an old brick.) We don't do this consciously, of course, but I can hear my students. They sound like free divers, coming up for air, or like whales, as they breach and blow.
Paying attention to the breath - a sort of Pranayama, or the Yoga of Breathing, for the plein air painter - will make sure you get plenty of oxygen to the brain so you will be in top form as you work. A slow, deep, regular breathing will relax you, too. You'll forget about the pressure of time and the fact that the shadows are always moving. Instead, you'll develop meditative, controlled observation and execution. The paintings will almost paint themselves.
By the way, if you're in Sedona, I am doing a free public painting demonstration for the Sedona Arts Center this Saturday, February 12th, 1-3 pm. This will be an indoor demonstration in oil. This in conjunction with the ongoing Faculty Exhibition at SAC. I hope to see some of you there.