Completed en plein air with my painting buddy at Burke Lake, Point to Point depicts that not-yet-fall atmosphere which I have grown to love.The water was calm except for when a slight breeze kicked up. We sat along the walking path and got to extol the virtues of pastels as we would answer the questions of passers-by: pastels are not chalks, crayons, or watercolors. They are pure pigment, essentially oil paints without the oil, but with a little binder added instead.
Education of the public about the beauty of pastel is a large part of the mission of pastel painters who work plein air.
Point to Point
pastel with watercolor underpainting on UArt 400
Join me for another round at the DLA HQ Atrium outside the Gift Shop. This time, I will be there just three days, Monday December 6 through Wednesday December 8, with demos from 9a-2p daily. Look especially for small works of local places.
Most 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 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 like the sun 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 methodological studio work.
My aim 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.