Painting outdoors (or plein air if you want to be all posh about it) is something I’ve always wanted to do properly. I’ve dabbled a few times and have really enjoyed it. However, I was normally doing it either in the very cold or wet English winter. I think my choice of when to do it tells you something about my intelligence! Regardless, those experiences did not prepare me for doing it in Costa Rica.
As you can see from the picture above, this is a pretty unique place, in which to be painting outside, at least for me! I have to admit, I don’t think it really matters whether you are painting exactly what is in front of you. In the photo, I’m starting a Humming Bird painting. Animals are extremely unlikely to sit still for you to paint them, but you’ve got absolutely no chance with Humming Birds, I’m not sure I’ve seen anything move so quickly! It’s being surrounded by the smells, sounds, heat and wildlife, featuring in the art, that makes the experience so wonderful. Mind you, it can be more than a little distracting with monkeys, toucans, lizards and all sorts of incredible birds (including Humming Birds) passing a few feet away from you!
I don’t want to be disingenuous here. I have absolutely no idea whether or not this will improve my paintings, but it certainly makes it all more enjoyable.