Well, after the long winter months and the changeable weather of Spring, it's great to get out again painting on site. This is my favourite way of painting - my only reference being what I see. It is also a relaxing way of painting, I find. On a complex commission, for example, which can take many days, I'm always aware that if I mess it up, an awful lot of work will be wasted (there's only a little repair work possible in watercolour, unlike some other media). By contrast, when painting en plein air it's necessary to work briskly and boldly - if you take too long, shadows move, the light changes and you risk an incoherent painting. With the work only taking a couple of hours in each go, there is also a sense in which it doesn't matter if it goes wrong - there's always another day! This, in turn, encourages a very direct and bold approach, and often I prefer the results to a painting I have spent very much longer on.
I also like painting in the open air - doing what I enjoy in the fresh air on a beautiful day is a great way of reminding myself why I'm an artist! I don't have as much equipment with me - pretty much just the paint, paper and brushes, so again there's less messing about. It's a very pure way of painting. Although when painting I tend to get carried away in my own little world, I find a lot of people are interested in what I'm doing, and that also makes the work a sociable experience - it's amazing how many people you meet are amateur artists or who at least appreciate art. In all the years I've been doing this, I've only ever had one negative remark. A gentleman described my painting as rubbish but, considering I'd only just started the preliminary washes to set the tone and background, I didn't take it too hard! Mostly I find appreciative interest and friendliness.
So I'm looking forward to more of the same over the Summer - I really must make the effort to get out more!
All the best, Rob
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.