July 30, 2010 Plein air Posted In: Log

John painting in plein air in Rome, 1998.

“Plein air” painting is a distillation of the painter’s entire experience. Through working in the field I’ve learned much about the essence of what we do as artists. Because the sun is moving, clouds are coming and going, and wind and insects are all conspiring against us, the painter is forced to quickly create his “virtual reality” on canvas. The artist must immediately get down the shapes of the subject, inject them with dimension through the use of hue and tone, and create distance and atmosphere – all within a finite timeframe. It is due to this immediacy that the painting is not overworked or overburdened with extraneous detail- the result being a spontaneous piece of art capturing the essence of the subject.”
-John Morton Barber

The artist painting at Notre Dame, Paris, France 2005.