Author: Larry_Seiler, Contributing Editor
|On the other hand, one more option remains, and that is to use a plein air painting as a reference for color and mood to use along with photos to create a larger in-studio work, which is a common practice among many plein air painters.|
Such reference on location studies have another name which is "pochade"...French for "oil sketch."
The obvious advantages of course, is to still-frame water paintings with a camera and get a more critical analytical perspective of water movement and patterns. Such works risk, however, being aesthetically stagnant. It behooves the painter to paint outdoors on location often enough so that you develop an intuition that knows when to disbelieve the photo...trusting instead experience in personal observation of nature.
This is a nice work...but it impresses the potential buyer for the "talent" the artist has..."Oooh, wow, he's good...isn't he?" It also serves to remind people of places they'd rather be. More painterly works, as I'm learning...ask something of the viewer. Like a parable which leads to a moral of the story, it is not all spelled out but room is left for the viewer to read between the lines. In that interactive mode, requiring something of the viewer, they often touch the spirit or energy of the mood and the reason the artist had to paint it. It thus seems to breathe and have a lasting impression.
I often say, that it must first have been interesting enough for the artist to paint it, before it will appear interesting enough for the viewer to stand in awe before it.
Remember, the beginning student paints and includes everything, the mature artist discriminates and is selective. Learn what NOT to paint!
|Finally, one last example of an outing I had last spring. Winter's snow melt had again high water, and I was so busy responding honestly to what I was seeing that this painting when finished was a surprise to me. It nearly appears too fantastic to have been real, nearly expressionistic or post-Impressionistic...but the truth was I was being faithful to record what I saw, again in lieu of potentially disappearing light. It is actually more naturalistic than some would have guessed.|
It would be very easy for me to look at this painting and compare it to my wildlife winning paintings such as my Snowy Owl with 300 hours in-studio work...and believe that I have really regressed and become a poorer painter. Other artists attempting to paint outdoors or liking more expressive works to begin with would understand and disagree with that. Of course, "Joe Public" not familiar with the tasks of playing according to nature's rules would make such comparisons and be impressed with the labored detailing of the owl. Such being the case, some artists are held back by fear to try something different. In which case, I would challenge you to simply see it as a game.
Perhaps you like to golf. Well, you might try tennis, and surely you won't assess yourself a poorer golfer because you have a bit of trouble getting the tennis game down just right. Or perhaps you'll be good at both. Don't let one experience in art judge your other experiences. Each challenge is a separate and new experience, and worthy of the engagement and the learning that comes of it!
I hope I've inspired you even just a little, to get out there and give it a try! Have fun! -Larry
|B i o g r a p h y|
Larry Seiler has near 20 years experience instudio as a Wisconsin midwest wildlife artist, (including such distinctions as Wisconsin's Wildlife Artist of the Year 1984, and the state Inland Trout Stamp design winner of 1998), and near a decade experience painting outdoors (plein air). |
Living and working in NE Wisconsin's Nicolet National Forest, represented by Main Street Gallery and Parkside Gallery of Minocqua, WI; Moondeer Gallery of Boulder Junction, WI, and Frame of Mind Gallery in Lakewood, Wisconsin.
Larry is a long time staff member/moderator of Wetcanvas.com, and an Industry Partner offering many educational helps, updates on workshops, and instructional aides for members in his own Partner forum. Larry recently wrote and released his first book on landscape painting, 307 pages on CD Rom in Adobe Acrobat Reader format for both Mac and PC users. Information on availability of his book, and contents can be found on his website and his Industry Partner forum.
Larry is also a working musician, fronting on occasion with his band "Beggar's Joy" Playing more the coffeehouse style folk/blues with two CD's of his original style music.
|E-Mail: email@example.com Web Site: http://www.artlandishconcepts.org|