I've spent a lot of years painting outdoors and gained many valuable experiences in doing so. Painting plein air is a tremendous practical teaching tool and I recommend all artists try to expand their knowledge and growth as an artist. Getting out and working on location doesn't compare to working in a studio from sketches or photo references. Direct observation can breath life and vitality into a painting and produce unexpected wonders.
To me plein air painting has been something I've worked at all my life and I believe it takes a lifetime to enjoy the growth one makes over many years. Artists all develop at different rates and levels over time. There is so much to learn you never reach your own apex but only the newest or higher level in your personal art adventure.
What an artist paints is as important as how an artist paints. I'm not one for distant trips and painting excursions to impress my friends but rather enjoy painting simply the life around me in my own environment. I am connected to small town America and that is what speaks to me. As for how I paint, I lately have enjoyed textured surfaces with lots of mark making, scratches, smears and drips with unconventional painting tools. It started years ago when I put my brush down and made marks with a cut up credit card. Now I have expanded that into a small kit of odd tools that I can paint with beyond the brush. Using decisive and powerful marks are a constant goal and I try to pare things down and simplify.
When time permits and the weather is bright enough to see light and shadow effects I grab my plein air kit and take off for a day of painting. You can find recent works in our store hanging at the gallery at Dillsburg and available plein air paintings for shipping can be purchased in our Online Store. This link below will take you there.
I have my plein air kit assembled and bagged for easy transport to and from my vehicle and beyond. Don't take to much, keep it simple. The lighter you pack the easier to move. Bringing your dog is not required.