Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Plein Air Postcard Syndrome

"Rose Island Lighthouse", oil on linen, 6 x 6

For the life of me I can not get a decent photo of this painting.  I've tried every camera setting and photo editing fix and I can't get the color right.  It is also picking up strange accents like the orange in the sky which is much more subtle and the darks in the rocks which is also more subtle.  Weird.  Any and all photo suggestions are welcome.  Anyway, I did this study using only my sketches which is something I've been trying to practice more and more.  I want to free myself not only from photo references but also from what I call "plein air postcard syndrome."  I think many artists get caught up in the technical challenge of trying to capture a scene exactly as it appears at any given time of day when painting plein air.  I know I do.  While I may not have escaped the postcard aspect in this composition I deliberately focused on finding interesting patterns in the building and rocks while I was sketching.   I think a second pass at this scene would focus more on the rocks and and the front part of the lighthouse rather than trying to get the whole building into the composition.

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