Getting the Most Out of October

Glen Haven skies

October skies as seen from Glen Haven on the first day of October.

It’s the most magical time of the year! Well, that’s open for debate, I suppose. But for painting outside, for this painter — nothing beats October. It’s as if Mother Nature looks down on those mourning the loss of summer and gives a giant wink, as if to say, the best is yet to come! Her grand finale.

My plein air work has always been geared more towards representing nature. Recording what I see. In the studio, I have more freedom.

But lately the push and pull between representational and abstract has been really strong. I’ve discovered a few abstract painters who work in plein air. That’s super intriguing to me.

I’m still feeling like I have to pay homage to the discipline and the representation, but there’s a stirring inside me to get more lost in the work. October seems like a great time to experiment.

Increasingly, I’m feeling like the answer is to let myself do both and work in two different manners.

After a decade and a half of making art, there’s one thing I know for sure: the answer is always found in showing up and making the work. The work will answer the questions for me when I show up and make art. It’s about the process.

So how do you get the most out of October? Show up. Get outside. Ask the questions. Listen for the answers. Be present with eyes wide open. If there’s one thing I know for sure about October, it’s that it will always delight!


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