Welcome to episode six of the Sight & Insight podcast. Join David, Connie and Judy as they talk about the art of painting out of doors. As Sorolla said, "As far as outdoor work is concerned, a studio is only a garage; a place in which to store pictures and repair them, never a place in which to paint them."
Artists have been working out of doors since the time of John Constable (1776-1837) the English Romanticist, who was sketching in the Lake District as early as 1806. The Barbizon School, located on the edge of Fountainbleu forest, near Paris, also championed the idea of developing a landscape painting via direct observation, attracting painters to the site such as Theodore Rousseau (1812-67) and Jean-Francois Millet (1814-75) in the late 1840s as well as Charles-Francois Daubigny (1817-78) and Constant Troyen (1810-65). But it was Claude Monet (1840-1926) and his Impressionist colleagues who perhaps garnered the most attention with the idea of painting outdoors, expressing the artist's perceptions of nature as laid out before him.
Hear Connie and David, both outdoor painters and teachers discuss the pros and cons of working in all weather to capture the momentary effect of light hitting their subject in Nature, while Judy tries to keep them in order. As David says, "You don't always what you want the first time around, but you will have had a wonderful morning or afternoon working out of doors, observing nature and the flora and fauna of your location. And these observations will make you all the more prepared for next time you go out there."
For Connie, having a good color theory before you even go outdoors is a big help for the student artist. Read Harold Speed, and other great painters, such as Lecoq de Boisbaudran who developed Light and Color Theory to assist the artist to help understand the principle in conjunction with a painting class or workshop
Artist's today often use technology to assist them paint images of the outdoors within the confines of the studio, but as Augustus W. Dunbier (1888-1977) said, "If you can't paint it with all of this hanging out there at the end of your nose, how do you expect to do it better back in your basement?"
But supposing you can't get outdoors to paint because of hayfever, or pouring rain? Then those observations already made outdoors will help you when you are confined to the studio. Tune in next week for Episode 7: Memory Painting....