I spend driving time discussing with my Plein Air painting buddy what it is that “drives” us each time we put brush -to paint and -to canvas. Of course it is the playful company of other artists and the joy of total immersion in beautiful places – but why? For my buddy it’s color and feeling. I too love the colors, but the “pop” is when I see something where all the pieces shapes, colors/shades snap together – together. Maybe there’s a rhythm of repeated shapes or the fading of color into atmospheric perspective or the frill of oaks dipping into the crevices of hills. While my camera can quickly capture a scene that moves me, only the struggle with paint, brushes and canvas allow me the sustained, compassionate, attention that equals the love and joy I feel when I paint.
Whether in an outdoor setting or in my studio, I love to create the magic that happens between paint and brushes on the canvas. While my digital drawings are more decorative than the paintings, their creation is often a process of integrating photographs with drawings. They are an imaginative release from the Plein Air observations.
Over the years, in my teaching career, I was able to first integrate my art interests with classroom art teaching and later to bring my art skills to technology. I often taught digital drawing skills along with photography and incorporated them into classroom technology projects. It is truly exciting to witness how the visual has become so much a part of our current communication language.