Studio vs. Plein Air: The Two are Tied in the First Round

Plein Painting: Shoreline

Plein air painting

Nothing — I mean, nothing — can compare to spending your days in harmony with nature. Except maybe endless uninterrupted hours in the studio.

Studio Painting: Lake

Studio painting

On a beautiful day, it’s hard to keep me inside. Leelanau calls, and I pack my paint supplies up and off I go. But outside in nature, there is so much: so much distraction, so much going on. My sweet little dog gets restless after a couple of hours and starts pelting me with the ball. The beauty alone can feel overwhelming and addicting — the good kind of addicting, I think.

Plein air painting: Sunrise

Plein air painting

The studio is a reprieve: everything is about my memory and the canvas. I can have a dialogue with the canvas that I have not been able to pull off outside. And so, with a couple months still ahead of us with primo outside painting weather, I find myself looking at my studio.

I’m not ready yet, though I do spend time inside the studio in the summer, mainly when I’m at home in Grand Rapids. While in Leelanau, the call of the great outdoors is too strong — I just go outside.

Studio painting: Abstract

Studio painting

And there is no better time than fall to get outside. It’s the grand finale; the colors are just unbelievable, with not only the trees changing, but also the goldenrod and fall’s wildflowers. And the light. Holy cats, the light. It’s golden all day. And for a painter who likes to paint sunrise and sunset, the shorter days work!

Plein air painting: Lake

Plein air painting

And so it is, I am fully present with each glorious day, while also feeling a building of excitement growing inside me for the days to come inside the studio!

How are you celebrating the seasons? And fall in particular? I hope it involves time in the great outdoors!


Untitled from STEPHANIE SCHLATTER ART on Vimeo.

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