Plein Air Painting: A Whole Body Experience
Painting is obviously a visual experience. But when artists step out into nature we are transformed. Here we become more aware, our sense of smell, hearing, sight and touch are all heightened by everything that surrounds us. We can't help but be effected by the environment for we are part of the earth. I think our senses are just below the surface in our insular world -inside our studios, our homes, our work. But step outside - and feel your eyes adjust to the light, react to colors, focus on distance, focus on a flower at your feet, hear the birds, the humming of bees, a chain saw in the distance, feel a warm breeze, touch the craggy bark of a tree or the smooth surface of a rock - we are changed. Perhaps we revert back to an earlier time when our senses were more important to our survival. I can't help but think that all of these natural instincts effect our painting ~making the plein aire venue an integral experience for artists as we step out of our studios.