August 22, 2013

Stellenbosch Road Trip

Curt's Plein Air Discoveries:

Out yesterday with the intention to paint, in watercolour, plein-air as close to the snow covered peaks of
our mountanous southern peninsula as I could. These are a few things on reflection, as a reminder for the
future and also a way of consolidating the experience and also instilling them more in myself.

1stly, I was somewhat indecisive it must be said. So: know what your intentions are. In other words, to go
out to paint, you will be ready for it, you will know how it is done and that you can do it. This was in-
hibited in my case because I was more enthusiastic to get out, just drive out, than to paint. One could argue 
it is a fine point becasue plein air is also about getting out.. so you see. Knowing I will paint plein air
and going out TO plain air being different.

2nd Preparation is key, in watercolour nothing is left to automata, that is, it cannot be achieved in the 
act, instead it is done before in contemplation, there are no shortcuts. The PROCESS is the enjoyment.
So be certain of it all the way, otherwise bad paintings result. This sort of follows on from one as it is also in the end about being present, but is a little more media specific.. I believe this is required for transparent
painting.

3rd Be more happy with where you are than with what you will paint. Perhaps this is to trick yourself in 
some way, the point holds true again only to the degree of presence achieved. Unless I am really determined
to capture something I need to know .. FEEL like I can paint what Im choosing to, in this sense comfortable 
is perhaps also about confidence. 

Other useful points leading from or to the above: Equipment.. be sure it is all there. You need some few
basic things on hand. This must be worked out in advance too. For ease of access and quick setup. This
cannot become a shlep or uncertainty or the work will be too. I will make a new note on my kit next.

Treat it as study, all good work comes from enjoyment. If the intention is to study, to paint a masterpiece
is bonus. Take time to find a view you can paint, forget about the painting and see the world, let it become
revealed. If I am loose but also engaging with the technique I will be more effective. Draw as much as is 
needed to understand the composition before going to paint. I am of the impression, a watercolour painting
demands thorough pencil work in preparation, but this will not be a solid rule. Still, be certain of skip-
ping the rough. 

Thats all. 
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