Sunday, September 9, 2007

Plein Air Painting

September! My favourite time of year for some plein air painting. This is a term introduced by the French Impressionists who broke away from their studios to paint outdoors! Imagine - the nerve of those guys to break away from established rules of painting in your srtudio. The reason I love to paint outdoors this month is because of the light. During June, July and much of August, painting during the middle of the day(when it's warmest and comfortable to sit quietly for hours) gave you a sun directly overhead and very few shadows. Light and shade is what make landscapes come alive, so painting is limited to early morning and evening for interesting shadows. During September you get those beautiful long shadows all day long and the weather is still comfortable to sit out there. Usually it's not as rainy either, which is nice. October brings the autumn colours but you better take along some warm clothing! Al in all, we are in for some exciting outdoor painting during the next couple of months. Time to gather sketches and ideas for some winter studio painting. This was the usual routine of The Group of Seven: out to Algonquin Park or Great Lakes country to get some autumn material for their winter studio painting. A.Y. Jackson, one of the group, rarely painted in the summer as he quite disliked green! But we must give the hardy old boy his due because he often sat out in the snow drifts and painted during the winter. So, painters, let's take a lesson from The Group, grab your paints and get out there!

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