I recently came across a draft I wrote a year ago, titled “I hate painting plein air”. As you can guess, it was mostly a rant about all my frustrations with painting away from my studio: having to interpret a scene within seconds, not being able to control the weather or the bugs, having to paint quickly. Plein air is hard, and the discrepancy in quality between my studio pieces and plein air pieces was huge. I pushed myself to keep painting outdoors anyway. I learned a lot, but I didn’t like a single painting I did en plein air in 2020.
One year later, I paint almost exclusively outdoors. I’m still very early on my ~journey~, but gaining confidence in painting outdoors has been so rewarding, I thought I’d share a timeline of my past year of painting landscapes from life.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what helped me improve the most, but I think the biggest difference between my first few paintings and my last was how much more confident I became. Now I can go out painting and know I’ll come back with some positive experience, either a finished painting I like, a day of meeting new people, or just a lot of lessons learned about how to make the next painting experience a little smoother.