Whenever I paint outside, I think about the difficulties the early Impressionists must have faced when first taking their painting outside. Imagine dealing with the heavy equipment, canvases and paints that don't come in tubes. Yikes!! Before all the special equipment designed specifically for plein air painting, it must have been incredibly challenging. In addition to the equipment issues, those early plein air painters were also going against the established norms by venturing out of the studio to paint landscapes.
I try to keep all that in mind when I am struggling to set up my easel with my Thursday plein air group. The Old Mill in San Marino is a lovely Spanish building that has survived the many earthquakes in Southern California because of it's five foot thick walls. A grist mill, it was first built that way to with-stand the vibration of the grinding wheel.
The Old Mill is my first painting using the new palette (see Painting with a New Palette). The colors are stronger, brighter and more intense. I have eliminated all browns which keeps the dark colors much more lively. I am only mixing colors with white when all else fails. This keeps the intensity of the colors and makes the light passages stand out even more. Adding white dilutes color. My future blogs will show my continuing experiment with color.
I believe that as an artist the true test is not how "good" you are but about the continuing struggle to be better.
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