So, I definitely have a soft spot for “plein air” painting. Sitting in a studio forever and noodling the same work for countless hours has never been something I could stand. There is a lot of disdain for open air painting, perhaps as something too cliche or “artsy fartsy” (to use the technical term). It is something very different from studio painting, that much is true, and it definitely takes a certain type of artist to stand up to it, but I feel like it is always a wonderful experience to get out and appreciate your own planet a little more. Its easier to “feel” the heat in a painting when you are feeling it on your own back while executing the work….! (But, perhaps the sunburn and sweat IS a little overrated….!)
Bill Cone is simply a phenomenal artist. He works in pastel on colored paper, and while some of these are not plein air works but rather done from photos from the location, the magnitude of his talent cannot go unnoticed. I recently went to his show down at the Studio Gallery here in San Francisco (which, I HIGHLY recommend seeing if you are in the area. http://www.studiogallerysf.com/Bill_Cone_12.php He is doing a live talk on Thursday, and if I weren’t already going open air painting that day in Carmel, I would go!) It is a fairly large show, and though his works aren’t one that necessarily NEED to be seen live, it certainly helps to get lost in his incredible edge control and colors.