However, with my Workhouse theme of 10 MILE RADIUS, it fits perfectly. Thousands pass by these oil storage tanks daily and they are a distinct part of our reality in Northern Virginia. If I can perhaps lend them some geometric, value-driven, and individualized beauty, then I have succeeded as a landscape artist who tends to make the mundane less ordinary.
As I mentioned before, I enjoy that the petroleum experts like it, so I have thusly passed muster with it. Add to that, the piece was the unexpected star of the Opening this weekend. It's been fun.
pastel on 400 UArt, watercolor underpainting
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.