....Plein Air Washington had a paint out last Saturday which I almost missed but had a good friend bring it to my attention the day before. The Bloedel Reserve has been referred to before in this blog and called the Downton Abbey of Bainbridge. Acres and acres of wonderful plantings, lakes, streams, a forest area and a large manor house. Great place to write, walk, contemplate and paint.
Heading out the door I grabbed my box with 11x14 panels but, on second thought also grabbed the box with 16x20's and ended up using those. I love having a surface large enough that I can swing my brush loaded arm and use big brushes. It's a freeing feeling.....and I go through a lot of paint.
Someone once said to 'use paint like you own the paint factory'. I think it was Wm. F. "Bill" Reese.
This top one was from the early afternoon. It happened to be on one of the main trails and about every minute a new bunch of walkers would come by, stand around a while and move on. It seemed like I could always feel people standing behind me. Very fun.
The morning was different, quieter and more removed from the crowds.
A stream flowed by my feet and into this pond where large cedars grew right out of the water. Dappled light from the trees hitting my panel made it difficult to see what I was painting and this one took a few minutes followup at home to organize and unify the representation of the mats of plant growth floating on the surface. That blue of the sky reflecting off those plants is what held my attention.
Three people have lately mentioned to me how swayed their personal style can be by studying with or greatly admiring other artists. We all go through the 'I wish I could paint like......', filling in the blank with our latest infatuation. It becomes problematic when we judge our own work by the images we have of other's paintings. Even more so when it is both Diebenkorn and Schmid there at the same time. Instant confusion.
On my iPad I have images of work from 115 different artists, each with their own resounding style and, there have been many times that I wish I could paint like any one of them. Lately, despite often studying those 5000 images, I've once again realized the futility and disaster letting them be too influential. Mesmerized as I am by other artists and their views of the world, when I wake in the morning it's still me and I may as well celebrate that. So, I paint what and how I like and only care if what I do is satisfying to me. Far less angst.... (but still steal good ideas when I find them)
By the way, 'Steal Like an Artist' is a good book.
Thanks for looking.