Class Notes: Plein Air in the Hood

My plein air classes wrapped this last Thursday; at least until September.
We parked ourselves in a lovely grassy spot behind the  local Safeway and found more than enough that was interesting and paintable.
The Adams State University campus is only a block a way, charming houses poke in and out of trees and flower gardens are blooming. This is the time to be painting neighborhoods, when trees are leafed out and serve to frame shapes and create compositional ideas.
Painting ideas are everywhere: a row of trees that frame a dappled
sidewalk, flowers against a fence, - my personal favorite is
trash cans waiting for pick-up.
The motto is: simplify, simplify, simplify.
Focus on a
simple scene,
simple shapes,
and simple brushwork.
Then ask the really hard question: What is this painting about?

Choose one idea and stick to it. Look for large shapes of light and dark and create a composition/sketch where you can figure out ways to connect those lights and darks like you are putting a puzzle together.

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