Painting outdoors has completely destroyed me. Seriously, I don’t know if I can sit patiently, hours on end, meticulously rendering nature indoors anymore! Ha, I know what you’re thinking; Susan you’re a botanical artist, you might go outside and study a specimen, recording it in a notebook or check your color mixes in natural sunlight but this is complete anarchy! You are splashing oil paint around with abandon and completely ignoring the tiny detail you love! No fret, I have not thrown botanicals to the wind but I have taken a break.
I have spent the last three months overwintering in Florida. I never thought I would be a snowbird or like it for that matter but Plein Air painting has flipped me. I became an active participant of a very large group of painters, the Light Chasers of the Sun Coast. We paint every Thursday as a group in a destination in the Sarasota area, determined by Terry Mason who heads up the group. She is a passionate advocate for artists. I’ve taken some workshops with talented, generous Plein Air artists: Morgan Samuel Price, Charlie Hunter, Vladislav Yeliseyev, Hodges Soileau and Michelle Held. I’m holding my own but I know I have a lot of paintings to go before I’ll be satisfied. Paint paint paint, repeat… but what a glorious way to explore, see, record and experience my environment. I’ll be returning to Botanicals soon, very soon, with exhibition deadlines looming and classes to teach but I’ll be thinking of palm trees and brilliant light and looking for opportunities to paint the Northeast, outdoors, as well.