Going from small plein-air studies to larger formal paintings

WORKING METHOD:  The medium to large landscapes are usually started in the field.  I actually enjoy taking a large canvas outside.  It is a challenge especially on a windy day!  But there is definitely a "connection" made working directly on the spot that is hard to replicate in the studio.  However, I am challenging myself more these days  to create larger paintings that employ other methods than a simple one-shot deal.  I use my smaller plein-air paintings and drawings as an aid to achieve this more studied formal image.  Ideally, it is great to do a couple of paintings on the spot. In this way the painting emerges out of the investigation process.  There is also no pressure to "produce" a piece.  It is a time to get to know the landscape and the lay of the land.    Hopefully, the end result of this more studied approach will come full circle to the initial reaction which is a moment in time.  An instructor of mine once said that Rembrandt puts everything in, every detail, everything and then he takes it all out by subduing the unessentials but you still feel the structure underneath.  Making a painting is similar to constructing a building. Every good painting has a strong underpinning.  I hope that these works not only convey a particular place and time of day but also formally read as a strong composition and go beyond a simple recording of fact

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