I recently took part in a 2 day workshop with Mary Lou Epperson in the wine country near Portland Oregon. I was really surprised at how different it is to paint plein air. It doesn’t seem like it should be. Afterall, it’s just more shapes and colors, right?
I didn’t make anything to be particularly proud of there but that wasn’t the intention. I attempted some techniques that the instructor suggested. In fact the process of constructing a painting, as described in the class, was different than I’m used to.
10″x12″ oil on canvas board
This is the most developed painting I did during class. I was specifically dealing with something I often struggle with, making a field or similar expanse of one color look interesting in paint. I was thinking of some of the recent paintings by Julian Merrow-Smith like this one for instance ‘Wheatfield‘. I really admire the loose and confident way he handles these situations.
As I’ve said before, Practice, Practice, Practice.
One of the things I came away from the workshop with was an appreciation for the fact that I don’t need to sell my work. In talking with and overhearing some of the conversations of other attendees, I was reminded of what it was like when I was trying to make money at it.
It was, for me, very frustrating to work to get some momentum going with painting and at the same time have to be documenting it and making contacts with galleries. When it came time to exhibit, I’d have to switch to framing, etc and would lose my concentration on painting. Showing, even if it was financially successful, was never really satisfying to me.
I have a lot of admiration for those that can do it.