Hurray for Plein Air Days / by Jeannine Cook

For a multiplicity of reasons, I have not been able to draw for the past few weeks. This means a feeling of serious "withdrawal" is beginning to prevail: I need to get back to creating art.

So it is with delight that I prepared my paper and pencils for a plein air session tomorrow, a workshop I am giving for local McIntosh Art Association members. The weather holds promise, I trust the insects will be blown away and that the local Georgia Wildlife Refuge at Butler Island, (an erstwhile rice plantation of considerable fame) in the mighty Altamaha River delta, will be in its full spring loveliness.
There is always the excitement of recognising that you have absolutely no idea what will strike you as subject matter, for drawing or painting, when you set off on a plein air session. You just have to let your subconscious mind tell you what matters, and then hope that whatever you create can be allied with your technical experience and personal identity... to make something worth while.

Henry Moore had it right - again! - when he remarked, "The observation of nature is part of an artist's life. It enlarges his form (and) knowledge, keeps him fresh and from working only by formula, and feeds inspiration." (This is "Tree Trunks II", a drawing Moore did in 1982 - image courtesy of the Henry Moore Foundation).

A suitable thought to carry with me as I set off to Butler's Island in the morning!