I had a deep connection to the plein air practice of painting while creating this view from El Dorado Park. There was a recognition of the timelessness plein air painting has. The thought has occurred to me more than once, but never more so than on this outing.
The materials and equipment used in outdoor painting goes back hundreds of years. Although many of the master painters did outdoor sketches, not many of them were seen. During those days the sketches were not considered works of art in and of themselves as we see them today. The “Masters” sketches were usually referenced later in the studio for their “real” paintings.
That perception changed during the Barbizon and Impressionism periods. Artists, (particularly Monet) eventually became known specifically for their outdoor work that was usually done in a very short period of time.
In the same manner as my predecessors, this painting was done with the traditional equipment. I had a wooden easel, a palette, a hand stretched canvas and some newly acquired oil paints manufactured from a 19th century process. Laying out the colors, assessing the scene and laying on the first strokes is how nearly every outdoor painting starts. Rousseau, Monet, Pissarro, all did it this way. Now I am doing it too! Continuing the tradition in this timeless practice was very present this day while painting this picture.