Sunday, April 10, 2011

Queen Anne's Lace and the Epiphany

It has been a long winter. Not a particularly hard winter, but long. Getting outside to paint this winter has not been possible. The leg has slowed me down some as it seems to want more time to heal.

Plein air painting is a very important part of my process and suddenly the thought about the connection to the land came to mind. Painting from screens or paper photo's can not be the same as painting directly from the land. The epiphany that hit me was in comparing different activities with the idea of watching these same activities on a screen, or on YouTube.

For example, is it the same to ride a horse through the sagebrush or watch someone else ride on a TV screen? I would say that the actual ride is going to give you more satisfaction. The sounds, the clip clop of hooves, the feel and sway of the ride, the smells of sage. I can imagine those things, or merely watch it on a screen, but there is nothing like the actual experience, the actual smells, and the personality of the horse. It is one of life's most satisfying pleasures.

Such is plein air painting. There are sounds and smells that go beyond the mere screen. The air flowing around me as I stand stationary. The sudden surprise of hawks, or Osprey gliding by. These things cannot be reproduced on a mere screen, but they can be a huge influence in a painting. To include these surprises is one of the great pleasures of plein air. Plein air is not about the completed painting, it is about the experience. It is about getting away from the screen and into the land. It is about the smell of sage, the clip clop of hooves, and even the buzz of insects, all of the things that cannot be recorded in a photo, or successfully felt on a screen.

This week I am going to get out there.


Ida M. Glazier said...

Beautiful work. Does it grow there near you? I like how mysterious the painting seems.

Rachel Harvey said...


learn oil painting said...

nice painting...Daniel

Donna T said...

Just beautiful, Donna!

Donna Van Tuyl said...

Thank you Donna T, Daniel, Rachel, and Ida.

Ida, I did not notice Queen Anne's Lace around here, and then suddenly two years ago it started to show up (or I noticed it) and now it grows everywhere, (or maybe it has always been around). It is beautiful and has a high fun factor to paint.


RRoseman said...

Are you familiar with another blogger, Loriann Signori? You have alot in common-she recently had surgery and could not do her daily "vitamin"-plein air painting and talks about this at her blog-I think you would enjoy her work and her insight. Good luck getting back out in the field-it always takes longer than anyone says it will -but you will get there.(I am an OT when I am not painting!)