The aim in my Plein Air work, is to respond to, and attempt to capture fleeting light effects and colour, from life. As soon as light conditions change, so the mood and first response changes, creating the need to work from memory. At that point I usually change my panel. It's possible to work from memory outdoors, but my aim is always to respond to the environment, with all its challenges as it moves and changes.I like to work "subjectively", and aim for that high concentration level needed to work intensely within a short time frame. In this respect, it is far from a mundane activity, and very much like training for a sport.
These paintings can seem "sketchy", when compared to studio pieces, but look at them as responses to a subject, rather than solely a record of place. In recording a "response" to a subject, all of what your experiencing, while being on location, is being expressed, through a variety of techniques, along with a sense of place.I try not to stick to a formula, as each day is different, and each response is determined by many factors.
Sometimes the "Plein Air Sketch", stands as a finished painting in itself, when all the elements come together easily. That, I feel depends on many factors, and is what Plein Air Painters chase, - that perfect moment when all your years work, study, experience, combined with excitement in your subject, and that x ingredient we can never put our fingers on.
Plein Air, for me, is a solid foundation from which all other work benefits. It provides endless inspiration, and possibilities from representational through to abstract, and the sheer discipline of getting out there,experiencing, and really looking at ,and responding to a subject is endlessly challenging .
I used to question the relevance of Plein Air Painting in today's world, but what can be more "relevant", than observing, and recording life as you experience and journey through it ?