Inspired by Blue Sky

Blue skies smiling at me nothing but blue skies do I see. ~Ella Fitzgerald, Singer  I never get tired of blue skies. ~Vincent Van Gogh, Painter The traveler who has gone to Italy to study the tactile values of Giotto, or the corruption of the Papacy, may return remembering nothing but the blue sky andContinue reading “Inspired by Blue Sky”

At the Heart of Plein Air Painting

Unlike Realism, Modern, Contemporary, or Impressionism, plein air painting is not a style of painting. It could be considered a tradition in this sense: Traditional art is art that is part of a culture of a certain group of people, with skills and knowledge passed down through generations from masters to apprentices. Yes, there areContinue reading “At the Heart of Plein Air Painting”

Why I Paint on Canvas Panels

I do a lot of plein air painting and stretched canvases don’t fit the need. I carry everything I need to do a painting—paints, brushes, paper towels, brush cleaner, and panels to paint on—in a backpack. By necessity, plein air paintings are usually smaller than paintings done in a studio, because we also have toContinue reading “Why I Paint on Canvas Panels”

Painting What I Know

There are lots of schools of thought about art, what good art is, how to make good art, and lots more. I took courses in painting, drawing, photography, and design when I was in college, and I tried to apply what I’d learned about Impressionist art to my own paintings. I didn’t impress myself withContinue reading “Painting What I Know”

Plein Air on the Prairie

The vivid gold and rust colors of the 6-foot-tall prairie grasses warm the winter landscape here in southern Minnesota. I was surprised at how tall and beautiful the grass was as I walked down a path that’s maintained for walkers at a nature center. I could barely see over the top of the grass inContinue reading “Plein Air on the Prairie”