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I have painted "En Plein Air" before, but I have been primarily a studio painter, focusing on abstract images and the occasional still life. Because I am surrounded by such a stunning and dynamic landscape in Colorado, I am committed to returning to nature to better understand light and shadow, color, and structure of natural elements. As an abstract painter, it is critical to be able to communicate these ideas to your viewer even if your imagery is inspired by your imagination. The other benefits of getting out of the studio, are refining your equipment, gaining precision and accuracy of paint application, and developing reliable reference materials.


I am going to attempt three small paintings in locations near my house. For better or worse, I will share my process and hope it is successful!

First, I found convenient locations,chose my compositions, and sketched them in pen and ink in my sketchbook. It is surprisingly overwhelming to be outside and translate all of that natural information into one little sketch! My focus on each sketch was speed and value. I documented the time and place of my sketch, so I can try to get back to that site to paint at the same time, and then snapped a photo for reference.
Location #1:



Location #2:



Location #3:




I have compared my sketches to my reference photos and printed out copies of them to take with me. Next step: Pack my equipment and return to paint!

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