My family and friends tend to make requests for art. I have learned to barter with them. If they shell out for a workshop or class, they'll get a painting, but they must wait until I exhibit it at least once. It's a pretty good system. They get a lot of added value for their expenditure and I get a lot of new experience.
This piece is for my mother, who gave it up for the framing costs of other pieces. Sincere thanks to stephie20at WetCanvas for the image.
Soft pastel on white Pastelboard
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.