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  • Writer's pictureDilmit Singh

Plein Air Greens

Where do I begin? Choosing a subject in plein air painting is almost always a challenge for me. Winding paths, benches under shady trees, a meditation labyrinth, statues of animals and humans, and even one of St. Francis of Assisi peppered the three-acre span of the Arlington Gardens in Pasadena. Every shade of green - sage, olive, viridian, jadeite, chartreuse, kelly, forest, lime, hunter, phthalo – mixed in the low lying ground covers, intertwining shrubs, flowering plants and overshadowing trees. All things positioned by humans - concrete slabs, broken bricks, odd pillars, statuettes, colorful garden pots, parachuting umbrellas - created anchors that distracted me from the various hues of greens.

With no agenda but to find something in this Mediterranean paradise to inspire a painting, I wandered around observing and sketching everything and anything from retaining walls to central fountains. I settled on the umbrellas, a favored shape, and a small stone statuette of a young boy draped in a loincloth. I have no idea who the boy is or who put him there but the sharp contrast of the red glass globe above his head with the greens that crowned the surrounding space was all I needed.

I would love to hear how others choose their subject in plein air.

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Dilmit Singh
Dilmit Singh
Aug 05, 2020

Thanks, Carol. Very different from painting indoors, but having anchoring subjects in the natural surroundings is attractive. I would love to see the pieces you have in your home!

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csrose32
csrose32
Aug 02, 2020

These are so unique. We have several Plein Aire in our home. These have more than just nature for a unique touch. They are lovely.

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Dilmit Singh
Dilmit Singh
Jul 29, 2020

Thanks, Anant, for your very candid and heartfelt observations. The works of the artists you've named are indeed "impressionistic" and I can only aspire to do better. I am fortunate to have had plein air painting and sketching opportunities in Arles, St. Remy and Giverny. Nothing beats breathing the air and sensing the presence of the great masters in their surroundings! Triomphe.

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anantbirsingh8
anantbirsingh8
Jul 28, 2020

The boy with red glass and globe, it's nascence is infectious. Touches of red in the greenery, sparks life in its primordial instinct. It's a timeless creation.

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anantbirsingh8
anantbirsingh8
Jul 28, 2020

En plein air painting, with the your subject in full view, strikes the heart's eye... Artists of that period who painted outdoor landscapes Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Cezanne and Van Gogh - their influence on you is evident and remarkable.

The umbrellas and the setting creates a nuance of romance in the backdrop of music of colours. One feels like joining the party in it's elegant settings. Besotted totally !

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