A native Nebraskan, now living in Iowa after a 5 year sojourn in Lipetsk, Russia, I attribute my vision and outlook to those blocks of time. While living in Lipetsk, I was blessed to have a great mentor who told me to “Get out and paint on the street. Learn the light.” Spoken in a different language of course, but the message is the same. Learn the light. I paint in oil, both studio work and en plein air. I love the challenge (and camaraderie!) of painting at plein air festivals.
Meet the Artists
What has plein air painting taught you about yourself? I have known for a long time, but I like immediacy, and plein air painting has validated that thought. As a warm up drill in the studio during winter months, I do 7x5 inch studies of faces that I am supposed to keep at 30 minutes. Sometimes it's the best work of the day! I love that 2ish hour light factor of plein air painting that demands the painting get done with no fussing. Who knew that racing against the clock could be so exhilarating?!
What is the furthest you have traveled for your art/plein air? I have plein air painted in Russia (Lipetsk and vicinity) while spouse's work had us living there for 5 years. Longest road trip to a plein air competition, to date, was En Plein Air Texas, last October (2022)
Can you share a fond, or unusual, memory of plein air painting? I was painting in Bykhanov Cad (a park in Lipetsk near our apartment) Two boys came up to watch, and after a bit started a conversation, of course, in Russian. I tried my best, but Russian verbs are really really hard. And their English was better than my Russian! "Ah, you are Brit!" they said. I let that slide, and we managed to exchange a mix of the two languages for a thoroughly enjoyable conversation about painting!
What was the last thing that you painted or drew a picture of? A coffee shop interior. I paint coffee shops a lot - I like coffee, and I like coffee shop interiors, and I especially love coffee drinkers sitting under a patio umbrella outside the coffee shop. And I REALLY love when they sit there long enough to get a capture in paint!
What is your favorite plein air subject, location or time of the year to plein air paint? I love the close-by street scene. Shops, awnings especially striped ones, reflections in windows, these things all capture my attention. Time of year? Summer, nice warm atmospheric conditions!
What is something that looks fun that you want to try? More boats. I have tried a few, and they ARE fun, but not a huge selection in the center of Iowa!