Tuesday, November 01, 2011


During a recent Plein Air Workshop I taught, I discussed the two separate aspects of creating fine art paintings: the development of technical skills, and the artist’s creative skills.

Technical skills can be easily taught. How to handle the brush, how to use the palette knife, how to create specific color mixtures, even the elements of composition, etc. But there’s another even more important element of creating art that can emotionally connect with the viewer.

It’s the creative aspect. That’s about how an artist sees the possibilities within a given subject. It’s about how to find the emotional life of a subject and make decisions about bringing those things into a painting so that others can see them and feel them as well.

To connect with these feelings and reactions an artist must look within his or her heart and soul. It’s not about recording dry facts on canvas. It’s about recording the “poetry” of the subject.

To create truly fine pieces of art, we must become “visual poets” rather than merely accurate technicians. That visual poetry is what I attempt to bring to my subjects. And when a viewer is moved emotionally by my paintings, then I have succeeded.

This painting was created from the side of the road, using the “stealth” pochade paint box you’ve seen in one of my recent YouTube videos. I parked on the shoulder of the road and painted with the pochade box resting on my lap. I wanted to capture the quiet serenity of this country setting.
“QUIET SERENITY” is a 6x6 plein air oil painting, created entirely on location. I hope you like it.

Thanks for looking, Tom Brown

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