Driedger says she easily finds scenes like this driving around her part of Ontario, Canada.

Some of the discussions on social media really hit a nerve. Not a political nerve — not usually on painters’ sites. More like, “How do I find a place to paint, instead of wasting time driving around?” 

“Dee Bank Falls, Windermere,” by Roxanne Driedger, acrylic, 8 x 10 in.

Roxanne Driedger recently posted on Facebook, “I have a REALLY hard time settling on a spot to paint and waste a lot of time driving around instead of painting. I live in a beautiful area in northern Ontario … there is no lack of lovely scenes. Is this a common problem, or just me? I need to change this behaviour.” More than 40 comments were posted in reply. Clearly, Driedger hit a nerve.

Driedger painting on location

Another scene from Driedger’s part of the world

“Where I live there are lots of pretty spots,” says Driedger, “almost around the corner. It makes it harder to know where to go. Or sometimes you find a place and think, oh my god, that is pretty, but there’s no place to park. Or it’s somebody’s private property. I will go up and knock on doors. But there are all kinds of potential problems. I find myself driving for three or four hours–that has happened to me before. Is it just me that is having such problems? It’s not. And people’s comments have been very helpful. I printed them out and I put them in my plein air bag. I have a few them highlighted, like ‘Just stop.’ ‘Park.'”

“Pond at the Barn,” by Roxanne Driedger, acrylic, 12 x 16 in.

One more from Driedger’s travels in Ontario

Driedger’s question prompted one person to suggest the artist suffers from FOMO, fear of missing out, and she readily agreed. Driedger noted that some suggested making a list of spots on a map or on a phone so locations are at one’s fingertips when a plein air painting session comes available. She read about limiting expectations, not expecting to paint a masterpiece every time, and using a viewfinder. “A viewfinder is way better than the camera,” says Driedger appreciatively. “Your eye picks up things differently than the camera. But mostly I heard, ‘Just keep painting.’ It’s true that we can just get the enjoyment of sitting in a spot and staring at a beautiful scene for three hours. That in itself is wonderful.” 

Read the whole thread here.


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