A Moment of Clarity
Coni Grant - Contemporary Plein Air
Nature has always influenced my outlook on life. Painting outside is the best of all worlds. Plein air work forces you to respond from the gut - pitting all you know (even what you don't know that you know) against time and the elements. It can be painting at its most raw, but working in the landscape is its own reward. Dramatic weather, changing conditions, they add to the experience, and to the stories afterward. Any day painting out is a good day.
In 1998, I was so fortunate to study with Charles Movalli, who I consider to be one of my greatest influences. On one perfect morning at Morro Bay, California - light breeze, the sound of small waves lapping against the pier while gulls flew overhead and wonderful fishing boats everywhere, - four or five painters were lined up along the board walk, intent at our french easels. From behind us strolled a couple, enjoying the day, and viewing each artist in turn until they came up behind me and I could just over-hear the man say to the woman on his arm,
"Now THIS is the life".
I will never forget that moment: the day, the breeze, and my clear-as-a-bell thought,
"This IS the life; and I'm livin' it".
When the couple passed, I recognized the man as the well know actor Hector Elizondo.
That was a moment of real clarity for me.
The photo above was taken by fellow painter David Montgomery on LaVeta Pass this winter, and Yes, it was really cold.