'En Plein Air' is a French term meaning something close to 'In the open air'. I was amazed to find that until about 100 years ago, painting outside was quite rare. I love it - for me it's the rawest and most natural form of painting. I admit that in the depths of winter I was expecting to be painting snow - but no! This winter has been really mild and, unlike much of the UK, the weather up here has been pretty good. Today was cold and breezy but sunny, and the painting was 'Findhorn Beach'. I really wanted to feature the clouds, but when painting from life that can be difficult, as they move - quickly, as it happened! That's one of the things I love about it - by forcing you to be quick, a natural and spontaneous painting often results. I like this one.
People often ask me what equipment I use. Well, I see no point in having loads of gear when the basics will do. My water bottle is just a plastic bottle and my brush holder is a cardboard kitchen roller inner with sellotape over one end to keep the brushes in! I use a cheap plastic palette. What's important for me is that my stuff is light, and ready to go. I keep a day rucksac packed ready to go at all times so I can be moving in a couple of minutes when the fancy takes me. When I get there I just spread my kit out on the grass (or sand), pour some water out and off I go. The only things I never compromise on are the products that the customer will buy. My paper is always acid free and top quality. My paints are all artist quality - the only difference is that I use pans outside and tubes in the studio. Lastly, I insist on using my Kolinsky sable brushes, wherever I am. They form a beautiful point and hold so much more water than synthetic brushes that I can't do without them! If this winter continues, I hope there'll be plenty more 'en plein air' action to come before Spring!
A professional artist living and working in the beautiful north of Scotland. My work is realistic and quite traditional, though strongly interpretational in nature. My inspiration is the beauty of Nature, and the wonderful colours and moods she shows everywhere.