I love to take photos. Photography is an art form, and a source of inspiration, and a tool to document and keep.
Anyone who knows me knows that I can almost be annoying with the way I try to capture moments of my daily life with my camera phone. I’m not just talking about those cheesecake moments when you throw your arm around a friend and you do the selfie, nor am I just talking about that moment when you take the shot of the lovely plate of food in front of you because it’s exceedingly colorful, or displayed well, or you love the cook. No, I mean I take pictures of anything from tiny flowers to a sunrise. I have thousands of photos that no one will probably ever see.
I celebrate every fabulous day. For me, each day prompts that same sense of awe that you get when you’re on an amazing vacation and you see a mountain for the first time. From the truly grand to the most wee detail, everything is just a marvel to me.
Plein aire painter’s, by their very nature, have really popularized the process of capturing the outdoors with something other than photography. By using the painting process it can elevate even the most mundane into a final piece of art and show the relationship, or presence of the artist. I have been quite enthralled with the concept of trying to capture those moments on the hoof, so to speak, and I’ve had some real fun with it. There is something about this work that sits in that spacial energy between photography and the fleeting impression of a moment. It is modern impressionism.
I enjoy making paintings in the field, with all of the unique challenges of time and changing weather. Looking at them afterwards I like that they have such a particular sense of light and energy. It feels like much harder work because of the speed necessary to see, process, and work the images and I greatly admire artists who work primarily en plein aire.
The influence of working more impressionistic and loose has certainly improved my work but I think I will always find my true comfort anchored firmly in the studio. Moreover, I think I am hard wired (or cross wired if you’d prefer), between a classical representational style and one of commercial illustration. For me, paintings continue to be illustrations of my life or observation of my world.
So that being said, today’s painting has been lingering on the easel where I could dithered with it in my free times this week. Time, tucked into the evenings or bracketed between zoom meetings, could be spent in snippets of time merely to unwind. I know, a photograph would have captured it just as well… probably better. But for me these literally become more about the immersion in the process of painting, of reliving a memory, or even about reflecting or meditating on something not clearly related to the image itself. That’s when it can become prayer.
For your enjoyment, breath deeply and enjoy the remembered scent of “Lilacs” a 16″ x 20″ oil on canvas.