Workshop participant Kim Owens plein air painting in the shade.
I love this photo taken during my Plein Air Painting workshop this past June, because it evokes a sense of creative solitude that is like a meditation for the plein air painter. Fortunately, Kim found the best of all worlds: a great view and some serious shade. Despite the heat, the shade is significantly cooling in Tuscany as are the afternoon breezes at Spannocchia. She actually sitting in a grove of olive trees.
Painting is a lot like breathing. I cannot imagine life without it. It is the ongoing formidable challenge of my life. When I am painting, it is more like a meditation. I have no idea what day it is or what time it is. I am lodged in an immortal moment.
While I enjoy teaching as a college professor of illustration, I am also an avid painter. In October 2006 I created my painting blog and committed myself to painting at least one painting a week or more for one year in either oils or watercolors. It lasted almost two years and was an invaluable experience.
I paint in watercolors and oils and I am attracted to the intimacy of painting small for some unexplainable reason. I also love the outdoors and try to paint en plein air as often as possible.
In June 2010 I was awarded a presidential fellowship from Savannah College of Art and Design where I teach. This enabled me to paint for a month in Italy. It was a dream come true for me and I am forever changed because of it.
Each summer I teach plein air painting and sketching workshops at Spannocchia, a green hotel and working organic farm near Siena, Italy.