Painting en plein air is a romantic notion, but it’s also just plain fun. There are so many things one is incapable of controlling, so you have to be amenable to whatever happens.
Cold, heat, flies, mosquitoes, rain, intense sun...they can all be troublesome for painting outdoors, but it's still just kind of an adventure to be right in the thick of things and there's nothing like it. Some time ago, two friends and I ventured out to a local dairy farm to sketch the stolid creatures there. It was a searing NC summer day with flies buzzing and birds to serenade us instead of cars. We didn’t mind the flies at all, but happily wiled away the time, content with observing and sketching head shapes, tails and hooves while chickens clucked nearby. Hours spent outdoors seem like minutes in such a serene setting.
“Plein air painting and painting from a reference: The first is like going to
Paris for two weeks with your girl friend, the second is like reading a book about at the local library.” Paris