Plein Air or Studio

My “Plein Air” or on site paintings have a raw and direct feel to them. It’s often a race against time because the weather can change. Rain washes the paint away and wind can blow your painting and makeshift studio away. Light will change. Insects can arrive. Fatigue can set in too so you have to work as fast and direct as your painting method will allow. I think I’ve made some of my best paintings on site because of this immediacy and direct, less detailed approach. It’s not easy but it can be rewarding and even if the painting doesn’t work out at lease you have managed to spend he day in a beautiful place. I usually consider myself to be very fortunate and privileged to be where I am doing what I’m doing.

My studio paintings are made from the photographs I’ve taken, either on painting trips or other activities. I take a lot of photos for potential paintings and select only a small percentage of them to start a painting with. I  edit the photograph to improve the light and colour to get closer to the mood that I want the work to take on. I sometimes use two or more photos to get the elements I need for a composition. I consider the studio works from photographs to be a more likely to introduce a mood or feeling that might be more theatrical or cinematic; a little larger than life and more interior, not just literally but also psychologically. They become something different and often relate to art history or perhaps the work of a filmmaker that I might admire.