I am a “seule dans l’atelier” artist (that is, if I got the English to French translation right.) But I started as a Plein Air artist. As a child of five, I would sit under a tree, with my notebook and pencils, and sketch everything that I could see. The mountains, the pine trees, the earthworms, the flowers…I’d sketch everything. Thankfully, I don’t remember how terrible those sketches were – but yes, I was an outdoor artist until I was sixteen, and then when I moved to a bustling city, I turned an indoor solo artist.
Whenever I am outside, I quietly slip into the shoes of an observer, looking at the world as it rushes past me, and then when I return indoors, those images accompany me back. They mingle with my emotions and create a new image that appears almost fully formed in my mind – harassing me to sketch it.
If you’ve seen my painting “Held,” you know how the images that I see outdoors accompany me indoors. They travel in transparent weightless pods that bob around me like they were connected to me through invisible threads, and they incessantly tickle my consciousness, until I cave in and start sketching them.
On a slightly different note, I’ve been reading about Claude Monet – an artist so different from me that I often experience this deep desire to understand him. I’ll post about him and my feeling about his Water-lilies (Nympheas) and the Rouen Cathedral series, after I’ve finished the book.
Image: A part of my painting “Held” (Medium: Oil, Dimensions: 4 ft x 3 ft.)