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The value of painting outdoors.

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An approach to working outdoors.
Painting out of doors can be undertaken in any weather - you just have to be prepared for it physically and mentally. The romantic notion of sunlit meadows with cotton wool clouds in which the artist and the subject appear made for each other, rarely occurs - at least, hopefully. As painting in only these conditions with the repetition of the same subject matter is the road to nowhere.

Painting excursions I have made in the last two weeks have highlighted the good, the bad and the down right ugly! The first looked not at all promising but as heavy cloud lifted to bright relatively warm autumn sunlight with occasional light showers gave an excellent days painting in the location of Hay Tor Vale. The second occasion there was to be no lifting of the gloom. Dense grey cloud brought continued rain but still permitted some painting giving rise to a less than inspiring piece, but the experience was invaluable and adds to the quest for knowledge and visual and sensory experience every artist should be after.

The accompanying image shows a typical outdoor set up for painting in oil. Keeping things small and compact allows greatest flexibility in finding subjects and transporting all ones gear.