Taratories Blog

En Plein Air

Every summer my family and I go to Ocean Isle Beach in North Carolina for vacation.  This summer I thought that I would bring my art supplies along so I could work on a commissioned piece that someone ordered from me.  They wanted a tranquil beach scene with two adirondack chairs to symbolize times spent with her and her daughter at the beach.  She is giving it to her for a graduation present which I think is so special.  I first laid down some washes of color at my easel.  The wind was blowing intensely that day, but the easel stood firm.  My hair, not so much.  I have to admit that besides doing some light sketching and watercolors outside, I have never worked on a piece from beginning to end outside.  Having the blue waters as my backdrop was so inspiring and beautiful to have around me.  I felt such a sense of freedom as I painted outside.  There was peace and calmness about me as I worked.  This meditative environment helped me feel so comfortable with every brush stroke and line applied to the canvas.  "En plein air" is a French expression which means "in the open air" used to describe the act of painting outdoors.  I never realized how fresh air, beautiful landscape, sun, and breeze could have such an affect on the way I worked, but now I am determined to make more "plein air" happen in my life.


I also loved working beside my nieces.  When they found out I was doing art, right away they gathered their art supplies and started working next to me and it was so fun!  They were very curious as to what exactly I was doing.  I just love how kids are so curious and how inspired they can be just by watching people.  They are quite the little artists themselves!  One of my nieces does beautiful typography and she was working on a "T" For me, the other was having fun using the colored pencils I had out, but ended up chasing her paper in the wind most of the time :)  

When I took this picture, the beautiful coastal sunlight snuck in and laid on the most perfect place on my canvas!  It wasn't until later that I noticed what happened and I think it's kind of crazy!

After I stretched the canvas on the frame I realized how perfect this piece would look on my dining room wall!  Sadly, I had to package it off to ship it out.  I might just have to paint another beach inspired scene again...