Terry Miura • Studio Notes

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's Feeling Springy~

Sonoma Spring, 9 x 12 inches, oil on linen

This painting is available at Sekula's.  Please contact the gallery for more information.

We had lots of rain last week, and now the sun has come out and so has all the greens around here. The neighbor's magnolia tree is in full bloom, and I'm starting to feel the coming of the allergy season!

I haven't been able to go outside and paint since...Thanksgiving, I believe. I've got plenty on my plate in the studio so it's not like can just drop everything and go painting en plein air.

That's just me making excuses. Sound familiar? If I don't know by now how important it is to go out there and paint nature from direct observation, I never will get any better and I should just quit. 

"I don't have time" is a perfectly valid reason, but then we can't also complain that we're not getting better. Of course we don't get better if we don't put in the time. Can we get good at anything if we don't practice? Even making excuses become easier with practice.

Sometimes I think that I'm not really a plein air painter. I'm more of a studio painter who enjoys painting outside often. I recognize the immense value in the discipline, but it still feels like a chore. I'm not compelled to do it all the time like some of my friends are. When I do get out there, though, I'm always glad I did, and I always learn so much from every painting I do, even the scrapers. Especially the scrapers. 

Can you tell that I'm trying to work up my enthusiasm to go outside? I do have that Sonoma Plein Air Festival coming up in a few months and I'd hate to be unprepared and fall flat on my face. I'll be among my friends who do it all the time, so it would be rather embarrassing if my chops aren't up to par.

There. Fear of embarrassment. That's as good an incentive as any!


  1. Beautifull painting Terry, fresh colors, love it.

  2. 'Fear of embarrassment.' Love it, great post as ever! :-D

  3. Painting outside is a chore and a challenge, but it is also something that you do very, very well in my eyes. Do you really need to be forced to go outside in California? I guarantee you your studio work benefits from it.

    Come on Terry let's get outside!!!

  4. Stop whining and just go out and paint.

  5. Yepyep quit whining already!! LOL I'm gettin' out there!

    ....may be next week?

  6. Not to rain on your self-motivating parade here, Terry, but I seriously doubt you could ever fall on your face. Your plein aire work is exquisite always. Sheesh...I can't tell the difference between what is done en plein aire and what is done in the studio anyway. Love this gorgeous piece and could you please send some of that spring and greenery my way?

  7. I think you'll do fine Terry.

    And on the off chance that you don't... do what I do when I paint badly in front of an audience- Make up an excuse!

    Deferring to that old hot tub injury never fails.

  8. Terry! Your honesty in your post conversation spills into your art, and that's what makes your work,(art) so enjoyable!
    Sure we can always learn more, get better, ect.
    All the while it is still Terry that the viewer is seeing, and enjoys so much.
    Thanks for the insipration you bring!
    Fear of embarrassment? A human quality we all have.

  9. LOL! I think I may be a studio painting who enjoys painting outside too! Great post! I can relate.

  10. Thanks Autumn, Thomas, Bill, and Kimberly~

    It rained today, so I have an excuse. Hooray!