Painting Outdoors

Why paint outdoors?
Because you learn a lot by observing. It’s that simple but not so simple to do.

I do sketches more than paintings, but the exercise is the same. They are a first step in my work. The rest happens in the studio, based on these sketches and the experience that came with them.

Because outside, things happen. The eleven o’clock light has disappeared at noon, clouds get carried away by the wind, a bird sings then stops, it’s hot, it’s cold, now it rains and the lake has become gray, the water making a clapping sound.

Meanwhile, I try to grasp a little something: the diagonals formed on the surface of the water, the clouds that are reflected on it, the colors right under my nose or farther away. In this array of details, I make choices; each essay is a unique lesson.

This is better than being at the movies with special glasses on, because my whole body gets involved. Between what happens, what I manage to do and what comes as I do it, this little exercise is a bit of a happening in itself. It’s rather simple, don’t you think?

Louise Jalbert, “Lac Paré, July 27th, 2018”, Watercolor on paper, Moleskin Album, 8 x 23 inches