Since 2007, I’ve embraced the challenges that come with plein air painting. It caters to my need to be outdoors and improves my skills.
The morning I painted Wildflower Country Road, during Steelville, Missouri Plein Air, I was sleep-deprived and almost decided not to participate. I arrived late; there was no time to scout for the “perfect” scene and the patch of light down this road along with the summer flowers caught my eye.
The other painters were well into the 2-hour quick paint when I set up my easel. I had 45 minutes to finish a painting and deliver it to the judging area. My hopes for an award were not high, but I let go and let it flow. There was no time to fuss with details.
To my delight my painting took first place from among a large number of excellent pieces. This experience was a lesson in making quick, uncomplicated choices and not overthinking my subject matter or my process. I have tried to be present “in the moment” when painting ever since.
Judge Matt Ballou said “The contrasts of color, shapes, and depth of field in this piece are pure poetry. Lorraine’s adjustments between areas of hard and soft, pure hues and atmospheric tints are wonderful – and that little patch of light makes me want to take a walk down that road”.
I was on cloud nine hearing his remarks! My personal goal as an artist is to evoke emotion in the viewers of my work that will help them feel present in the scene. My artist’s statement expresses it best:
With each piece of art I create, I feel a responsibility to capture a moment in time that illustrates the joy of being aware of the important gifts of our planet Earth. Each painting is an expression of gratitude to Mother Nature, my touchstone. By capturing color and light, I strive to create something that generates its own energy; something unique and evocative that will spark an emotion in the observer and teach me something too.
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