Blending plein air paintings with reality - OutdoorPainter.com
Oil painting en plein air in São Francisco Xavier, Brazil

We recently discovered artist Marcelo Rocha on Instagram when he posted a video of what appeared to be bicyclists cycling almost through his plein air landscape painting! You have to see it to believe it, so watch here:

Marcelo was kind enough to also do a Q&A with us so we can learn more about his art. Enjoy!

Painting en plein air at Central Park, NYC
Painting en plein air at Central Park, NYC

Cherie Dawn Haas: Please tell us a little about your artistic path.
Marcelo Rocha: I’m 43 years old and I’ve always worked with IT (Information Technology) in Brazil. About five years ago I started painting as a hobby (I had never painted before) and I fell completely in love with it. I had two years of classes at the Plein Air Studio (www.pleinairstudio.com.br), perhaps the best school of realistic painting in Brazil in my opinion. This was so deeply moving that it changed my life completely. I left a good job as an IT executive in Brazil and am now starting a four-year painting program at the Art Students League of New York next month.

An area called “The Ravine” in Prospect Park, Brooklyn
An area called “The Ravine” in Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Painting by Marcelo Rocha
Painting by Marcelo Rocha

CDH: What’s your favorite story to share from your plein air painting sessions?
MR: Last fall I was painting at the Hudson River banks and a deer appeared and stared at me intently while I was painting. It was very emotional to me because I had never seen a deer before. After that, I added the deer in the painting.

CDH: What supplies do you normally use?
MR: I have a pochade box that I brought from Brazil by www.pleinairbrasil.com.br. I like to paint over a gessoed wood panel. Most of my brushes are from Rosemary Brushes. About colors, I don’t have a favorite brand but the most important to me is the palette, and I always use the Richard Schmid’s palette from his book Alla Prima.

Blending plein air paintings with reality - OutdoorPainter.com
“You don’t need a magnificent landscape to do an interesting painting.” ~ Oil painting on canvas at NYC Central Park.

CDH: Anything else you’d like to share?
MR: My favorite historic painters are Joaquin Sorolla, Sargent, and Philip de Laszlo; and my favorite artists of today are Marc Dalessio, Aaron Westerberg (especially his dogs), and Richard Schmid, of course.

Painting of an Aliza boat
Painting of an Aliza boat

Follow Marcelo Rocha on Instagram @artrocha.


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