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Friday, April 18, 2014

Painting Out & Being A Good Noticer

Foliage, Holmes, NY ©DeborahBollman,
Watercolor, Plein Air, Sold

I was asked a question on the subject of en plein air painting and why go outside in the sun, elements, and bugs when I could just paint from a photo in the comfort of my studio. 

I mulled over this one on of my early morning hikes with my dog, Tess.

And the title of Chapter 8 from the book Doctor Dolittle popped into my head which is... 

Are You A Good Noticer?

  • Have you ever stopped to just watch a hawk soar overhead?
  • Have you noticed lately the beautiful changing colors of the clouds at sunset?
  • When was the last time you pulled the car over to marvel at a beautiful view, not because it is your destination, but just “because”.
  • Have you laid out on a blanket at night to contemplate the stars and Universe lately?
  • Did you ever notice the the dandelion flowers open in the morning, and close up their blooms at night? How about the color? Such an incredible happy yellow!
  • Have you ever gotten close enough to a wild animal to look him in the eye?
  • How about just walking and listening to the silence in a forest?

What does this have to do with painting outside? Everything. Painting outside is about unplugging from technology, and tuning into Source. It’s about slowing down and noticing that there is a whole world going on out there while we humans are running on the wheel. 

When you set up an easel outside you have to really observe things. the colors of shadows, the sweep of a mountain, how the different parts of the landscape relate to one another. And then the painting is done quickly to capture the light before it changes, or the weather comes changes or the heat gets you. 

Painting outside teaches you to notice. It teaches you to marvel. It teaches you that you really are part of something bigger and grander. 

It teaches you to notice what an amazing beautiful planet we live on. 

And that’s why I paint outside.

Why do you paint outside? Or why don't you?

Add your comments below!

Happy painting!

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