“Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.” – Walt Whitman
“Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air’s salubrity.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” – Ashley Smith
Many of you already know this. My husband is a plein air painter. He teaches others to paint in the open air, in spite of weather conditions. His little group of students enjoy the comradery and the study of light and shadows. I’ve gone along a few times, but prefer to paint in the air conditioned comfort of our home. Everyone has their own way of doing art.
Paul used to participate in competitions for plein air artists. These events usually consist of three or four days filled with painting. A site is chosen, paint is placed on pallets and the contest begins. Within that time period the paint three individual paintings. It’s kind of a marathon of sorts and requires a lot of dedication and endurance. As his age has somewhat limited him the past couple of years, he no longer does the competitions.
The paintings above were done in Hudson, Wisconsin, five years ago at one of these events. As with competitions of any kind, they can become grueling. Sometimes he misses being part of them, but I think he’d rather paint at sites of his own choice and create art for others, not to prove anything.
God creates masterpieces. He gives those creations life and breath. He provides them with landscapes and water. He fills the skies with clouds. Sometimes they are as clear as a bell. He gives his creatures the ability to produce their own masterpieces. Some become brilliant scientists while others find their talent in music. Some will achieve a place in business or finance while others excel in social skills and communication. Each of us has been endowed with something even more important. We have been given the gift of eternity, where life goes on forever.