I don't know why it took me so long to start painting outdoors. I love landscapes, but most often these days I experience them from the car. I take tons of photos and have been using them for reference for a couple of yours. Still, I knew I was missing something besides mosquitoes, sunburn, and ticks. I needed a push to get started and signed up for a Plein Air painting workshop with Debra Bayly from the Arts Center in Troy. In the week leading up to the class I found my collapsible easel and toned some canvas boards in various shades of ocher. I managed to fit all my gear into a giant IKEA bag and was ready to meet the small band of intrepid painters at Peebles Island in Cohoes, NY.
Maybe it was the perfect non-humid summer weather. Maybe it was the big old trees with pools of cool shade or the water around the edges of the landscape with 19th century industrial buildings, bridges, and boats -- but I felt like I was in the midst of an Impressionist painting and my brush responded accordingly. I really like these little paintings and I'm looking forward to seeing where this new path leads.