Friday, June 25, 2010

On Location and Studio Work

If you have been reading my blog you'll know that I've been working recently in on location/plein air which means I drag all my pastels, paper, easel and lunch out on location to actively observe the natural world.

In May my husband and I visited a quiet state park in northeast Kentucky, Greenbo State Park. I loved the pristine environment, the lively all-day bird calls in the forest that surrounds the lake and the amphibians swimming across the lake - yep, snakes! We rented a little runabout boat the first day and I did some sketching from the boat as my husband fished.

The next morning I took my pastels to the lake to watch the sunrise and record the changing light and atmosphere. These sketches are small because the light and foggy atmosphere were changing so quickly.

When I returned to my studio I looked at the plein air work from my trip and realized that yes, this is what I saw at the time. It's a fairly accurate depiction of the scene but was it what I was feeling as I sat on the bank of the lake and watched the lovely sunrise, felt the mixture of early morning coolness and the warmth of the rising sun.

I decided to make a series of pastels based on the plein air experience but with more interpretation of how it felt to be there and not necessarily how it looked.

This piece is called "Greenbo Sunrise" matted and framed 12"x16". I feel like it says more about the experience.

Now my conflict continues, which is quite natural for a Pisces.  Do I continue to stuggle with capturing that moment in time and focus on plein air pieces or do I use my plein air/on location pieces as a record of that moment and reference for more interpretive studio pieces? This is where I'd like to clone myself so I could be at both places. For now the struggle will continue, I'll do both as the weather permits and enjoy the challenge.

I'll be showing "Greenbo Sunrise" at Francisco's Farm Art Fair in Midway, KY this weekend, June 26 & 27. If you're in the area drop by booth #24 and say hi.