"Often when we paint plein air we have to paint quickly to capture the image before the light changes too much. This calls for a simplification of the subject to its basic elements, also known as abstraction." That is what Don Maier says at the top of the "Abstract Plein Air" group on PleinAirArtists. Spoken like a true open air artist and very valid and each to his own I say.
I am as obsessive as the next artist but my obsession is with painting, not light. For me light is a given, we would not see without it. A theatre in complete darkness is still a theatre. An unlit stage is no different to a lit stage and doesn't only become real again when the lights are switched on. I am more interested in what the actor is saying than how her head reflects the stagelights, beautiful and all as that reflection might be. I'm not concerned either whether the play is staged in a theatre, an open air amphitheatre or a forest.
I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with this but to get back to Don's words; I just wanted to say that I, for one, am not too concerned about capturing the light. I find the image is often burned into my mind in the first fifteen seconds. I can still feel the sun on my head and the glare in my eyes from the day I sat in front of this scene (see attached painting).
However the glare and the heat are not what it's about. They are tools to convey something. I would write about it if I could but then I wouldn't be a painter but a writer.
Can the light key not be replaced with the colour key as colour is effected by light,and if you get the right colour you reflect the light at the time. This can also be reflected in an abstracted version of the original. Your sense of vision can have an effect on what you produce, but as long as others see where you are coming from then you have succeded. A painting started outdoors can some times improve with reworking, in another fashion.
I was about to make the same point, Patrick.
I think we should not infer things that aren't said.
Firstly, the term "light key" is something which came out of somebody, probably but not necessarily a visual artist, in the mists of time putting the words “light” and “key” together.
Secondly, nowhere in this discussion have I suggested that representational works are inferior to more conceptual ones. The title of the thread refers to my struggle with light and I talk only about my work. Yes, it’s all about me me me. You excel at what you do, Michael, and it would be wrong of me to denigrate your or anybody else’s subject matter.
Ok I did refer to Monet at one stage. As you can see from this painting, the artist was clearly short-sighted. Warning, sense of humour needed to view this.