Monday, March 16, 2009

California Paintout '09

Brad Teare and I met for a 5 day paintout in San Diego. Since I usually paint alone, it was energizing to choose a scene, compose, paint and critique the result with another painter. I took him to some of my favorite paint spots and some new ones and together we would discuss the possibilities of composition, cropping, subject, lighting, etc. We approach a scene differently, I almost always see the panoramic possibilities, and he focuses more on a detail composition and explores volume.

Battiquitos Lagoon Eucalyptus

Mission San Luis Rey

Swami's Beach

Balboa Museum of Man

As often happens when doing plein-air painting, I asked myself why I bother. When I'm working on a commissioned painting or illustration I know why I am painting. I am completing an assignment, working for a living, solving a problem. But, when I am painting for myself, especially outdoors, if a painting gets difficult, or I loose my focus or things go badly I become discouraged, frustrated and bored and ask myself "Why do I paint?"

This happens frequently eno
ugh that I have to try to answer the question.  My current answer would  be to capture beauty, tell my story, develop my technique, see and design more clearly.  And when it works, I love it.

Self Realization Garden

Oceanside Pier

Torrey Pines