The process of painting: Plein air painting? Doesn’t work for me!

The weather improves and the urge to be outdoors becomes very strong. So why not go out with the easel and box of paints and brushes? The colours and subjects are there right before you! No lack of inspiration to the “plein air” painter. Well maybe, but I’m not one of those. I see the colours and landscape, the sky and streaming sunlight, but to me they are not subjects for painting. They are elements for painting, but actually looking at a landscape and jotting them on a canvas ruins my view. I do want to go out with a camera and capture the moment, but in my paintings I need that other moment that is never actually there except in my mind or on my canvas. I can paint outside, but  several elements form my landscape: a sky I saw yesterday, a building I encountered somewhere. Painting what I see makes me restless and impatient. To use the camera suits me at such moments.  When I paint outside it is never the landscape before me. I can draw as I would draw schematics to remember the landscape or a composition, but later I might draw or paint my true impression of the landscape I saw. I will use the sky I saw yesterday, move the mountain to the centre, grow a rock or two and add an animal I know could be there somewhere. Meanwhile the outdoors is just another well lit studio.

Painting outdoors, but not the landcape before me.

Painting outdoors, but not the actual landcape.

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