Thoughts on Painting
Outdoors
by Don Holzschuh

                                                                             
Selected Text
From  an article that appeared in the magazine
"
The Window" In The March Issue, 1992
    When you're painting outdoors you're in what I like to call the world's largest studio. It's just you before
    this whole creation, at this one place and time. I think every artist when they're in the studio, is actually
    trying to re-create how beautiful nature is, with it's  light, forms colors. But when painting outside it's all
    before, it's all around you at all times. You just have to look to see it there before you.
    When you're outside, all your senses are combined into one. It's not like the studio, which can be like a
    sterile cube with you inside controlling your environment. When you're outside you're at the mercy of
    the environment around you, and you have to contend with other problems that are not artistic, such as
    wind,rain the sun itself, bugs, people-it's kind of like a competition while you're painting. It makes it areal
    challenge.

    When setting up it's very important to look at things careful.  Unlike the studio,reality and life can be
    completely different than in your mind. You don't have painting as a form, but reality and life and you as
    an individual participating in the natural world. You tend to look at things in a more o 0objective and
    pure way. When you're painting outside you're actually putting you're self on the line. Every day you're
    a different person,and if you go back to the same spot the next day, it's a completely different scene:
    the changing season, the weather,the aging of the whole process. And so if you want to capture the
    time and spirit of it, you do the painting all at once, complete in a single sitting. By painting "complete"
    you have more emotion that you can tie into your subject matter, and also into the piece that you are
    creating. Outdoor painting that's done on location is more charged, has more emotion than something
    done in the studio. In the studio you take your time, you can make a mistake, you can go over it,
    change it, graphically design it.
     
    I just think open air painting is more honest. It has a purity, no matter if done by an amateur or by a so
    called professional, because it's really about a person perceives a situation and who they are at that
    moment. It's not contrived, it's not per-planned in execution. It's there. It's total emotion. And that's
    what's so exciting about it. You have hits and misses, like anything, but when you're really going at it
    outdoors you can feel everything around you: the birds, the traffic, the rhythms, the people, the air. You
    can see how the rhythm of the earth goes, you get that tune. You can get up in the morning and paint,
    or in the evening,or at midday. There are different times of day when you go paint and have different  
    types of emotions about it. It all just contributes to the frenzy of creativity, something you don't get in the
    studio.