Plein air (outdoors) and alla prima (completing a painting from start to finish in one sitting) painting both represent a tremendous challenge and inspiration for me. In plein air painting I am at the mercy of all that is present in outdoor settings: continuously changing environmental elements, changes in shadows/colors/light right before my eyes, and the urgent sense of getting down the emotion that inspired me to attempt the painting in the first place. Alla prima - starting and finishing a painting in one session - is somewhat less taxing as I may have 6-8 hours in one studio session to complete a painting.

My plein air paintings are generally 9" x 12" or perhaps 12" x 16". I find that anything larger is too difficult for me to satisfactorily complete without taking shortcuts that I know I'll regret later. My alla prima paintings in the studio can be as large as 24"x 30".

Both plein air and alla prima painting help to train me to express myself and my emotions, rather than "just painting what I see". I like to surprise my collectors by expressing a sense or an emotion that allows them to feel as if they are right there with me as I paint.

(Background image: Edies View #2)