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Moving is Grooving! What to do when your Plein Air painting won't work.


Lighthouse in a field.


Many moons ago, as I was finding my chops as an outdoor painter I was taking a workshop in Oregon with Scott Christensen. We were high up on a grassy cliff with a lighthouse that beckoned to sailors - there are cliffs  abound! I picked my spot and set up. As usual, my painting started out well but alas, soon in blew the winds of trouble. I spent a good hour on my first attempt and with that was told I should wipe it off and get a fresh start. For the next 2 hours I desperately worked on a second attempt. Scott came by a couple of times and tried to help me right the ship. On the last pass things had gotten so far off course that I thought I was going to discover America! 


I was lost. So I asked him what HE would do when things have gotten this far off course. He leaned forward a bit, scanned the landscape then proceeded to take my painting off the easel. With arm of a professional football player and without abandon, he frisbee’d the painting over the edge of the cliff into the crashing waves far far below. Again it was “do over” time. Bye bye little mess. Start again. You would think that would be “lesson learned”, but wait! He then picked up my easel and marched it over to another even grassier spot about 10 yards away.  We (I), re-grouped from this new location and began again. Less than ½ hour later I had the best little lighthouse painting ever and I was right chuffed.


The lesson here is…


You cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created it in the fist place. Wiping off is one way to get a fresh start. But there can be more to that. If things are not working try moving yourself to a different vantage point. Some spots just have bad juju. Move and find some fresh turf with better karma. Like I said at the start ‘“Moving is Grooving.” Don’t be afraid (or too lazy) to move your equipment. It might just bring you some good luck.


Keep those brushes swinging. 

Your friend in art.


Doug.

PS. 


I sold that small painting to my friend Kathy. I wished I had kept it.

“Hey Kathy! If you still have that painting, post a picture of it! I’d love to say hi!


Here are a few choice lighthouse paintings to enjoy.


The first is a close-up painting but for the life of me I can’t remember who painted it.



Oil painting of a white house.

Super cool!



Oil painting of a man painting a lighthouse with boats in the background.

Eugene Boudin



Oil painting of a lighthouse.

Edward Hopper


Impressionistic oil painting of a lighthouse.

Charles Hoguet


Bright impressionistic oil painting of a lighthouse in the daytime.

Charles Hawthorne (yes, the little green book dude.)


PPS. If you want to paint some lighthouses, join me and my friend Sue Contini in Nova Scotia Sept 2-6, 2024.  


Details at: 

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5 Comments


Coffey Steve
Coffey Steve
2 days ago

While playing slice master, you'll be treated to soothing audio and graphics that are intended to elicit ASMR. As you proceed along the road, make an effort to move beyond anything that gets in your way.

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han gu
han gu
Jul 09

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It shows how a fresh start can provide unexpected results. Thanks to Scott for his unorthodox teaching technique and you for adapting. geometry dash

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It's a great reminder that a fresh start can lead to unexpected breakthroughs. Kudos to Scott for his unconventional teaching style and to you for embracing the change. snake game

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True artistic confidence comes from not being afraid to face failure and always finding a way to start over, even in the face of unforeseen obstacles. 1v1 lol

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