Plein air (painting in open air or on-sight) painting can be incredibly challenging and frustrating. I remain convinced that of all the painting disciplines, it is the hardest. There is equipment to lug around, the elements to battle that are always changing, and only a small window to capture the light. Wherever you go, you will attract spectators and critics. However, I’ve learned that in spite of these challenges, painting en plein air can also be a very rewarding, therapeutic experience. Other than the best academic practice in capturing light and color there is, plein air painting reconnects the artist with the land they are describing. It’s a time to just breathe in their environment, and recharge.
This particular little oil painting is very special to me. Painted on Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast, my friends and I were trying to escape the heat in the city. We packed some snacks and had the most relaxing morning on the beach. The tide kept coming in closer and closer to our painting spot. We had to repeatedly move our easels. It was a fun game on a perfect day, with the perfect people. May this painting give you the quiet peace and sunshine of a warm coastal day with the sand on your feet, and the tide slowly coming in.
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