I will readily admit to a few passions, aka obsessions: painting outside, buying art supplies, and watching movies. When they collide, it is pure bliss.
Local Color is a coming of age story, one of my favorite genres. Based on real life circumstances and his autobiography of the same name, George Gallo comes of age as both a young man and as a painter, a plein air painter, even. He learns that hard work is, by definition, not easy and how sometimes that process and life in general can made one jaded, as in the case of his reluctant teacher played by Armin Muehller Stahl, a painter himself who came out of acting retirement for the role.
Although I waited for the movie to open locally at an independent theater, I resorted to Netflix instead. It's an affirming movie about the various struggles of a young creative sort and I recommend it highly.
Much of my work is done en plein air, French for "in the open air." People often associate it with the Impressionists, but the move to paint outside preceded them by a number of decades. The trend to appreciate landscapes as a genre at all was new for the time.
Several characteristics contribute to the distinctive beauty of en plein air painting. They are generally smaller in size in order to be able to capture a scene in a single sitting. Because of the time limit and environmental factors such as the sun and shadows moving, they often lack extensive details and might appear slightly fuzzy or unfinished. Lastly, they tend to have a freshness and spontaneity which makes them impossible to compare to traditional and methodological studio work. That said, my own studio work tends toward the same feel as en plein air, which then identifies my overall style: softness with an edge.
My aim when painting en plein air is for alla prima paintings, which roughly translates for me as "what happens outside, stays outside." It adds another level of difficulty to the work.
These are some local places for landscape painting; most are within an hour of the Beltway. Look here for the complete album, a couple hundred views from my photography collection, which are mapped here.