Sonoma Spring, 9 x 12 inches, oil on linen
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!