Studio, I know. But what's plein air?
Everyone knows about the artist working away in their studio, but many have never heard of "plein air" painting.
The words mean, literally, "full air" and refer to painting outdoors in the open air. The artist's main concern is capturing the fleeting effects of light and conveying a feeling of place with freshness and sponteneity. These are sometimes harder to capture in the studio.
And you have to paint fast! Outdoor light will completely change in about two hours. You must get most of it down within that time frame...or come back the next day (and two days are never the same).
In the past I had always been a studio painter, but a few years ago I decided to broaden my horizons by taking on the challenge of plein air work. A faster, more compact skill set was needed (and sometimes I despaired of ever improving), but surprisingly, it has also enriched my studio work and is well worth it.
I am not one to stand out in the snow painting, though, so while some of my paintings are done en plein air, others (especially in winter) are done in my warm, comfortable studio. I leave painting in the snow and rain to the extreme plein air painters......