Month: January 2018

Painting plein air (in the “full” air – outside!) is a sport – it requires speed, agility, endurance, and passion. The sport gives the artist a chance to capture a moment in time, to make quick decisions to identify the essential elements in his view, splashing a canvas with wet on wet paint (“alla prima” – “first attempt”), to create his impression. The spectators, those viewing the painting, are equally important, because they actually finish the painting, blending and interpreting in their minds the colors and dabs of paint left by the artist. So, buckle up and enjoy the sport! I identify plein air works to distinguish those I may paint in a “studio.”

I enjoy the style of the impressionists, who did not attempt to paint images with the “realism” that one might expect from a camera, but painted with quick stokes with a brush loaded with vibrant and often unmixed colors, leaving it to the viewer’s eye to mix the colors and stokes, to create a notion of a specific and fleeting moment of time colored by both the painter and viewer’s impressions. Unlike many impressionists and modern artists, I do not agree that reality is subjective, being defined by what the individual sees. Truth is not subjective, yet personal and subjective sensations and perceptions are varied and reflect our creative individuality given to us by the Master Creator. The paintings are not an “exact” reproduction of an object for its own sake. We create because we are created. The Creator is the benchmark for truth–we all see reflections of that truth. Theologians call that common grace. The Heavens do declare the glory of God. I feel his pleasure when I create. —- Thomas H. Roberts