Plein Air Painting Is for Me!

The fact the I am a painter is a miracle! All my life I have studied the sciences and never took one art lesson until five years before I retired. Now, however, I love painting en plein air (French for "open air"), traveling and meeting new people.

When I was a child, we lived on a small acreage with a wooded area on a back corner. Occasionally, I visited that area and enjoyed seeing the different plants and shrubs and how the sun danced on the leaves. Perhaps that is when I learned to love trees. Much later I had a wonderful opportunity to take free art lessons at the nearby university. When I moved away, I went to the local gallery and continued with lessons. Several years later I moved to Maryland where I met plein air painters. We actually took our easels out to a field, set up, and I was overwhelmed! What do I put on my 8" x 10" canvas from that vast array of scenery? At the same time, I was hooked! It was exciting to be out of doors. As the poet said, "It doesn't matter whether I got bee stings or sunburn, lost my brush or my picture didn't turn out well, I still had a great day." Now I enjoy beautiful trees everywhere, but when I want to paint, I look for those which grew in an irregular fashion or have seen many years of wind and storms, perhaps losing limbs in the process. Those are the ones that speak to me so I set up my easel and we have a face-to face conversation.

Many opportunities for travel have presented themselves to me since I began painting. I have ridden on horseback to paint the mountains of Montana, loved the trees in Mexico that are trimmed to look like huge barrels, and a wide variety of trees in Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida and Maryland. In traveling throughout the country, I have noticed that different areas have trees unique to that area, except for pine and oaks which seem to be prolific everywhere from Florida to Montana.

Another benefit of being a plein air painter is that I meet such wonderful and interesting people. I have met them during those travels and workshops as well as when I am at home doing shows and hanging art in my local library and art galleries.

When a painting is finished and hangs on my wall, I look at it and am in-the-moment with it. I remember the day precisely when it was made, the temperature, the work I did to get there, the fun I had painting it, and the problems I had finishing it or whether it just painted itself. And when it sells, I'm rewarded monetarily for doing something I love!

At Mary's Art, Inc. we have a large number of original hand painted oil paintings on canvas. These inexpensive colorful paintings were created en plein air (French for "open air") to capture the emotions of nature and bring them to you for your enjoyment. The paintings are modern in style, somewhat abstract and with expressionism overtones. Please visit and find paintings you love.

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