Oil on canvas, 11"x 14", 1998
"En Plein Air" is a term borrowed from the French meaning "open (in full) air". It is used to describe outdoor painting from observation.
Traditionally, artists used oil paints which take a long time to dry. The advent of acrylic paint challenged this method as these paints harden quickly. On the prairies we also have harsh weather conditions, mosquitoes, wind, and a very short season to paint comfortably outdoors.
I painted en plein air using oils at Emma Lake, Saskatchewan and the Qu'Appelle Valley, watercolour at Northern lakes, pen, ink and watercolour in the Bahamas. On location for a few weeks at a time enabled me to complete some rather extensive work. Personal comfort aside, I find painting outdoors rewarding as the constraints force spontaneity, quick strokes and immediate response to the light. The outcome is usually fresh and worth the effort.
The Impressionists of the 19th C and Canada's Group of Seven were avid en plein air painters.
Watercolour on paper,12" x 16", 1998
Oil on canvas, 24" x 30"
Watercolour on paper, 18" x 24", 1995
Pen, ink, watercolour,8" x 11", 2007
Pen, ink, watercolour on paper, 11" x 16", 2007
Oil on Panel, 10" x 16", 1998
Oil on panel, 6" x 12", 1998