The Quest to Create Plein Air Paintings in the 50 States
Ever since I can remember, the idea of a grand quest to give shape and meaning to life has held a fascination for me. Exactly what that quest was to be was not revealed to me until 2007. My love of art, plein air painting and being out in Nature as well as writing stories about these experiences would be the natural catalyst for discovering the nature of my quest.
Several years ago I read Wolf Kahn's book about painting in many different States and Countries around the world. Shortly thereafter, I was talking with a friend about how many different States we had both visited so far. That is when I got the idea of painting in each of the States.
It would have to be in person, of course. Taking photos and then doing art from the photos back in my studio would definitely NOT count! In order for the quest to have purity of purpose and intent, it would be necessary to actually do the work on the ground and physically do paintings on location in each State. How else could I then write about the experience? You have to live these things one at a time.
When you spend time in one place closely observing nature and the landscape during the plein air painting process, it is easy to feel more closely connected to that place than if you had just zipped by it in a car. Encounters with people, animals and weather make for an ongoing adventure to be savored, enjoyed and sometimes endured and survived.
So I am now embarked upon this quest to “Paint the 50 States”.
I am thrilled and excited to be “on the road”.
To check out my journey so far, go to:
My latest studio created painting (inspired by my plein air painting done at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah) is shown below
BRYCE CANYON, UTAH
One of the most difficult painting sites I have yet encountered - the altitude of 8100 ft. above sea level was difficult as I wasn't yet used to it. The sheer complexity and other-worldly landscape made it unlike anything I have ever painted before.
We stopped at a couple of places along the Canyon rim before I settled on Bryce Point as my plein air painting spot. It had the right mix of possibly paintable scenes and shade in the exact right spot for the painter.
It was crowded with tons of visitors like us with their eyes out on stalks at the sheer breathtaking beauty of all the pink, red, orange, cream and yellow ocher rock hoodoos and butts. All shimmering and seeming to glow from within with scintillating color - almost fluorescent. The shadow areas were rich with reflected light and were sublime in their own right.
The subject I chose to paint was a small piece one large Hoodoo, a tiny conifer tree next to it conveying the massive scale of the hoodoo and solitude of self. I focused intensely to see the abstract shapes and patterns. The resulting painting is called "Hoodoo Voodoo".
The larger studio version (as seen here) full details are:
"HOODOO VOODOO" Original Oil Painting by Suzanne Elliott
Size of canvas - 18" x 24"
Oil Paint on Canvas
Price: US Dollars $2995.00
Price includes Framing and Shipping
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