Plein air is French for "fresh air," so plein-air artists are those who paint outdoors rather than in studios. With plein air, we experience nature during the time it takes to complete our painting and nothing stays still that entire time. We paint quickly and some will be lesser developed for the eye to enjoy and complete.
Boats for Sail
9.5X12.5 pastel 2011
I went to Youngstown to paint sailboats from the marina docks in blazing sunlight. Turning around, I was attracted to this shack and bright plastic cans inside the door.
The boat workers suggested I wait until they painted it, and offered to close the door for me! It has an alternate title, 'Used Yachts'. Sold
4 More Turtles
16X20 oil 2011
Having painted a picture with four turtles on a log early in Spring, I was surprised while painting this to see four turtle splashes off this log at Margaret Louise Park in Amherst.
I had already painted them, thinking they were part of the log.
16X20 oil 2010
Painted between rain showers in Williamsville, this is the rapids below the Red Mill Falls.
Red House Playground Bridge
11X14 oil 2009
After an Allegeny State Park rainstorm, we painted in a picnic site, as the skies cleared the colors glowed & the grills started up for lunches.
January AM, Houston
11X14 oil 2009
Speckled light on the shed in the January sun contrasted with the snow we knew was at home. Serendipity! Sold
Pearl Of A Garden
18X12 pastel 2009
Plein air painted under the shade trees in an elegant old Buffalo
garden gate opens to summer color. Sold
11X14 oil 2009
Racing against the setting sun,
this painting captures the warmth of light on Florida marsh wetlands.
8X10 oil on panel 2009
A lovely afternoon in Fox Point park, this was the scene of a huge wildfire a week later.
Dam Leaves in Elma
12X18 oil on panel 2009
Pure plein air, this painting captures cold & crisp Fall light in the Elma town park.
Revisiting the Old Canoe Launch
10X20 oil on canvasboard 2008
My first Fall plein air, three years ago,
was a pastel in this same spot.
The fallen tree here was a centerpiece of that picture which sold shortly after.
It was also the October pinup on my 2007 calendar. Sold
First Color at Burchfield
14X10 oil on canvasboard
I joined my painting friends at Burchfield
Nature Center in the hopes of finding a bit of Fall color.
This flaming beauty was on the gorge wall directly across from the former home of Charles Burchfield, a nationally known artist of the 20th C.
Letchworth - Mist Below the Cabins
Early rains created a light mist that
burned off with the sunlight. May 2009 calendar. Featured on 464 Gallery site.
Three Sisters Bridge In Sunlight
The tree on the right overhung the bridge
& cast a dappled shadow.
As I was sketching for this plein air painting, I considered leaving it out of the picture, when CRACK,
the sound of a belt slapping pavement startled everyone within earshot. The bottom half of the tree ripped off & landed in the water.
There went my shadow...and the foreground water was now covered with tree. True story!
The upper River from Beaver Island State Park. This was a cold, early Spring morning.
This captures a lovely 3 foot tall flower stalk that smells like onions.
This massive tree resisted the intense wind that blew my pastels away.
I have always admired the mature flat top on old Long Island Pines.
This serene painting captures the sparkle of reflections in the middle of Buffalo.
An elegant twist is in this tree near the Beaver Island maintenance offices.
The Pink Post Flowers
These Sedum flowers grew in my garden for years before I learned their name-Autumn Joy.
White tree and white snow are painted with long shadows.
This is the December 2007 calendar picture.
This shows the curve of Lake Erie and the approaching clouds.
Light rain turned into a lovely day; I painted this from inside her garage.
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All images of paintings & photographs copyright 2006-2010 Kath Schifano, all rights reserved.