Painting A View from El Dorado Park

A historical connection to the practice of painting was strongly felt while creating this view from El Dorado Park.  I recognized the timeless tradition of plein air painting. The connection has occurred to me more than once.

Plein air oil painting and fine art print of El Dorado Park in Long Beach, CA depicting trees and a field.
A View at El Dorado Park, 2017 by Curtis Green

That is (not) Art

The materials and equipment used in outdoor painting goes back hundreds of years.  Before the Impressionists, many of the master painters did outdoor sketches. Not many of them were ever seen.  During those days the sketches were not considered works of art. The “Masters” sketches were usually referenced later in the studio for their “real” paintings.

Barbaric to Beautiful

That perception changed during the Barbizon and Impressionism periods.  Artists, (particularly Monet) eventually became known specifically for their outdoor work. Their outdoor work was usually done in a very short period of time. The Impressionists considered the outdoor sketch as a finished artwork. This was shocking and barbaric at the time. This is not how we see them today. 

Continuing a Tradition

In the same manner as my predecessors, this painting was done with the traditional equipment.  I had a wooden easel and palette. A hand stretched canvas was brought from the studio. Lastly, some newly acquired oil paints manufactured from a 19th century process were in my kit.   These oil paints were made by Rublev Natural Pigments.

Nearly every outdoor painting starts by laying out the colors, assessing the scene and putting down the first strokes.   Rousseau, Monet, Pissarro, all did it this way.  Continuing the tradition in this timeless practice was very present this day while painting this picture.

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