Plein air painting is the practice of painting outdoors. It was a key part of the landscape painting movement and is still very popular today. Artists started appreciating the natural world more and more when they stepped outside and decided to paint the beautiful landscapes they came across. As a landscape painter myself, I practice plein air painting a lot because it’s a wonderful way to get work done and see more of the world around us. Here are three things I love about plein air painting:
- Discovering new places
There’s nothing like going for an aimless drive in the country and finding a beautiful spot you think no one else in the world knows about. There have been many times when I’ve find somewhere off the beaten path and I’ve thought, ‘this would make a wonderful painting!’ Going on these drives gets me excited because I never know what I’m going to find – you’ll never get to see the wonderful scenes just a short drive away from where you are unless you hop in your car and go exploring!
- Drawing inspiration from the natural world
As a landscape artist, I’m in my element when I’m surrounded by the natural world and I’m painting a beautiful scene. A lot of artists draw inspiration from photos or pictures of landscapes, but there’s really nothing like being out there and seeing it for yourself. What I like the most is when you feel inspired by something you were never expecting to come across; sometimes I might see something that reminds me of a happy time in my childhood, for example.
- Interacting with others
This is something that doesn’t necessarily happen every time I practice plein air painting, but it’s nice when it does happen. Sometimes people come up to me and ask about my painting, which is always a good thing to happen. I enjoy chatting to people I meet while working outdoors – it’s something that wouldn’t happen if I was working indoors. You never know what interesting people you might meet or what interesting new things you could learn from them. Whenever someone you don’t know says they like you work, it makes you feel good and it’s one of the best things I like about being an artist.
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