I don't know about you, but it seems like everyone's painting en plein air these days. And now there are plein air conventions, plein air magazines, plein air festivals and plein air competitions. This might be a good thing, but many of us who paint en plein air exclusively are forgetting that the studio is where creative synthesis happens. In the field, we observe how the elements of light, volume and depth operate; in the studio, freed from the distractions of outdoor painting, we can incorporate these field observations into more meaningful works. In the studio, we can also resuscitate the inspiration we had in the field and give it new life.
With that in mind, I've decided to give all you plein air painters the opportunity to return to the studio to develop your art more fully. I am adding studio-only weeks to my Paint Sedona calendar. We'll paint from any plein air references brought by students, which could include color sketches or even "finished" pieces. For students willing and who have the equipment, I will suggest optional outdoor painting assignments for outside the workshop day. (If you've already signed up for a workshop with me and are expecting plein air, not to worry; those weeks will still take place outdoors.) In the studio, I'll be teaching value and design, color mixing and color use, and adding depth to your landscapes to create that perfect illusion. We might even give reality a little push here and there.
For those of you who were really looking forward to a plein air workshop with me, don't despair! There are several scheduled in Sedona this spring. Also, I will conduct a plein-air-only workshop if you can bring at least two friends, plus I will schedule more plein air weeks in the future. Finally, my Downeast Maine workshops will continue to be exclusively plein air. Check out www.PleinAirPaintingMaine.com. I look forward to seeing you in the studio!