Plein air- what's the big deal?

There is something about painting outdoors that has a hold on me. It just won't let go. Every year when the New England weather starts to warm, I feel the pull to be outside immersed in natural settings, particularly the beaches and marshes of Cape Cod. Plein air painting is challenging, it's hard, it requires a lot of grit and commitment. Why do I bother? Because there is nothing else like it- nothing! To surround myself with breathtaking scenery and to attempt to express what I feel and see on paper or canvas so that I can share with someone else is just the most rewarding experience! Do I always get it right or am I always happy with what I do? NO!! Plein air for me is an experience, a process and does not focus on the final product which is the painting. Plein air is an opportunity to observe color and light in natural forms and translate that into studies in a sketchbook or a small format canvas or paper. After having spent a couple hours outdoors, I always feel better. I lose myself and get in the flow and just let it happen. So now you can understand why I am so excited about the new plein air group that has formed through the Cape Cod Art center. Every Monday we'll paint in a different locale on the Cape. We'll go all over which will be a great opportunity for me to get to know areas of the Cape I'm not familiar with. We Cape Codders get comfortable with our own little corner and don't venture far and wide as often as we would like! So stay with me on this journey. I'll be posting my adventures in plein air painting over the next few months right here on my blog. Thanks for reading!

 Here I am painting in St. Mary's Garden on 6A in West Barnstable

Here I am painting in St. Mary's Garden on 6A in West Barnstable

 My watercolor plein air set up- the En Plein Air Pro

My watercolor plein air set up- the En Plein Air Pro