Thursday, October 12, 2017

Nature Journal: Plein Air Painting

Over the past two weeks I've done several "plein air" painting outings down to my Secret Beach. Plein air is the fancy term for outdoor painting. It was popularized by Claude Monet and his Impressionist friends in the 19th century. We have our own hero of plein air painting here in Indiana -T. C. Steele (whose home can be visited in Brown County). 

When out in nature, it's hard to narrow down a subject from everything that is in our eyesight. In class we talked about choosing what we feel inspired by or emotionally connected to. We also practiced using view finders and the Rule of Thirds.

I loved taking the classes out of the classroom and into nature to sit and compose their drawings!

One class was even blessed to discover a newt!

It's so nice and peaceful at the Secret Beach. However, there are a number of hickory and black walnut trees around so every now and then one thinks a group of boys is throwing things our way!

James decided on a grouping of autumn leaves.

I chose the river bank to paint today.

One of my favorite nature writers is Gladys Taber and this week I finished reading her autobiography:

 (Harvest of Yesterdaysby Gladys Taber)
In this book Taber tells the story of her life from her birth in the late 19th century to her growing up years in the midwest and her eventual settling in Connecticut and Massachusetts. She tells of her college years during World War I and how she survived the flu epidemic that followed. We learn about her marriage and eventually her purchase of the Connecticut farm that would become so prominent in her writings. I always enjoy hearing how writers/artists began their careers and what influences in their childhood play a part in their later life.

I've just finished the first session of my Nature Journaling classes and have a two week break before the November session begins! (More information on my classes can be found here: Westside Art Workshop).

One more day of school and then fall break begins! I hope to be able to have a little more time than usual to enjoy the beauty of fall!

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