I encourage my painting students to paint from life as much as possible. It really accelerates their learning speed. Painting from photos is fun and easy, but you see everything in 2D and there are a few other challenges.
To keep up my painting skills I like to go and paint en plein air (fancy French term for painting outside) occasionally. The lovely lanes and cottages that abound here in Key West make great painting subjects.
Plein air painting sessions tend to be shorter than indoor sessions. Not only is the light always changing, but wind, bugs, heat, and other elements can work your last nerve. In order to complete, or get close to completion in a short amount of time, plein air paintings tend to be on the small size. But not always.
Many artists use these smaller, quicker paintings as studies for larger works. I recently turned a small 11" x 14" plein air painting into a larger work because a customer liked the painting but needed something larger to fill her space.
A studio piece is never going to be exactly the same as the outdoor study. What I like is that it gives the painter a chance to make some changes. I changed the light and shadow under the porch because I wanted to. (I think slashing diagonal light is more interesting) And I changed focus to the front door and the plantings along the fence line because the customer said that was what she liked about the original painting, the color she saw in the plants.
Lovely on Olivia
16 x 20"
Lovely on Oliva Street - Study
acrylic, 11' x 14"
|Painting in the works|
In other exciting news.................
I have a new gallery assistant and now I am able to get into my pottery studio 2 days a week and there are new pieces ready to go into the kiln.
It was so much fun to make the pottery, I can't wait until it's finished.
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Maggie Ruley is a studio artist living in Key West, Florida.
Her colorful paintings and tropical pottery are collected world wide and can be found in many island homes. She has been featured in the Key West Citizen,
the New York Daily News , and other publications.
Her handmade ceramic flip flops have been sold in gift shops all along the east coast and in California and Hawaii.
Her studio and gallery is located in the historic Seaport area of Old Town Key West.
Maggie Ruley~Island Inspirations
933b Fleming St.
Key West Florida 33042