“Everything that is painted directly and on the spot has always a strength, a power, a vivacity of touch which one cannot recover in the studio... three strokes of a brush in front of nature are worth more than two days of work at the easel” (Eugene Boudin)
“The master of skies”, Impressionist painter, Boudin used Nature as his studio with the majority of his paintings being completed outdoors.
‘En plein air’ is a French term which means open (in full) air. I have spoken about it in a previous blog post. The Impressionists coined the term as they often painted outside in search of the perfect light.
This week the inaugural ‘En Plein Air, Around Hermitage, Artists Vineyard Access and Competition’ was held. The premise being the “vineyards being opened up to artists for a whole day to paint, draw or in any fashion (to) capture the beauty of the Hunter”.
I adore painting outside , so naturally I couldn't help myself and take part. I feel the spontaneity and challenge of painting directly in Nature encourages intuitive brush/drawing marks. You can’t labour away with a certain area but rather work quickly to capture the mood of the scene. As a result, the work is alive with a certain kind of energy.
Working from a photograph doesn’t enable you to see the subtle nuances of foliage, the contours of the land and the vivacity of colour (which I often see in the sky and clouds).
Painting ‘en plein air’ is a perfect moment of being present; akin to meditation. Being in Nature, painting Nature.
I look forward to next year’s event.
An exhibition of the works will be held at Mistletoe Vineyard. Event details soon.
Yours in art,