Thursday, April 30, 2009

One Studio and Three Plein Air!

Wild and Windy

Today a group of us met at Catherine Creek and painted plein air. Below are some quotes from a book called: Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting by John F. Carlson. Last night I read the introduction to this book and then thought about what I read today while out painting. Some connection to his words helped me to see clearly on this clear day.

It is nature that employs the first and only true symbols, the legitimate ones, when she transports us into numerous moods in which we run the gamut of emotions from laughter to tears. She accomplishes it through form, light, color, movement, sound and scent. We require no previous promptings to "understand" these things; they run through our blood, and according to our nervous receptibility, we feel them in varying degrees of intensity.

The beginner in painting begins by copying nature in all literalness, leaving nothing out and putting nothing in; he makes it look like the place or person or thing. By and by he will learn to omit the superfluous and to grasp the essentials and arrange them into a more powerful and significant whole. And it is wonderful to know that these "essentials" will be essentials to him only (and herein lies the secret of originality). Another painter will choose another group of essentials out of the same fountain of inspiration.

Handling has only one virtue; by a very direct application of the pigment to the canvas, a certain freshness or sparkle of color obtains. But even this freshness of color, which gives a certain unlabored look to the picture, can only come with the certainty with which we paint. This certainty of value, color transitions, and forms--the "freshness," "boldness," "dash" which so enthralls the beginner--is really a detriment to his work; not being backed by soundness of construction or knowledge, or true artistic intention, it is offensive to those who know, who can see through the bravura into the emptiness beyond.
Here it might be well to touch upon the question of just how large a role knowledge or intelligence plays in the production of a work of art.
More quotes later from Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting........................


Celeste Bergin said...

You certainly had no trouble with the tree that eluded me...bravo! It was great being out there with you and I will be happy to see both you and Buckley next time!

Donna T said...

Gorgeous work, Donna! You sure know how to make the best of one day of painting! The studio painting is a real beauty! I'm so happy I get to see your purple-blue mountains. There is just something so calming about them.

Donna Van Tuyl said...

Thank you Celeste and Donna T. It really was a fine day and a great way to start the season!

Karen E. Lewis said...


Great to see all the paintings! I especially love the first one you painted, with that morning light in the grasses.

PS. I'd love to get your blog in my e-mails. Do you have a feedburner link? I can't find it.

Donna Van Tuyl said...

Karen, thank you. I am not sure how to go about having a feedburner link. I enjoyed your blog as well and since you know all about the feedburner, I will look as what you did and put it on my blog later today. Thank you for the tip!

Do you mind if I include you in my list of blog that I follow?

Rachel Harvey said...

Beautiful, Donna, as usual!