Plein air painting, a form of representational art executed on location, requires a keen sense of memory and focus. The painter continually struggles to remain true to the artistic vision that first captured her eye as daylight moves quickly across the scene. Being on location fosters intimacy, and by capturing some truth of a place and time in my art, I hope to convey to others my love and respect for our natural world.
I have also found that painting outdoors is a great way to meet people. I feel very fortunate to have built many personal bridges throughout my travels, so it is with great excitement and anticipation that I embark once again.
Yes, Dave & I are on the road, and will be living in our RV through September. The new year dawned with us rolling out in an RV packed with 250 canvases, gobs of camera equipment, and a few computers as we embarked on a nine-month journey through the USA and Canada. “That’s a long time,” you say. “How the heck did you come up with that plan???”
Last winter, our Habitat friends Terry & Sue asked us about island hopping with our RV through the Inside Passage in 2009 on the Alaska Marine Highway ferries. We happily related the stories, and darn if we didn’t get so excited that we not only talked them into going this year, but we convinced ourselves to join them!
I was registered for the 2nd Annual Plein Air Convention in Monterey California in early April, so that seemed like the logical place to begin our Alaskan adventure. We’ve heard many rave reviews of the beautiful coastline of California, Oregon and Washington, and this would give me a chance to paint my way through another beautiful part of the country.
Then, in early October, our plans to lead a Habitat for Humanity trip to Nicaragua fell through, leaving January and February wide open. “Soooo….,” I asked Dave sheepishly, “isn’t Tucson on the way to California? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to re-connect with friends there and paint the desert before we begin our northerly trek?” Thus came the crazy plan to drive to Tucson in January, fly home in March to do taxes, visit with family & friends, and finish some studio pieces, then fly back in early April to restock the RV and head to the convention.
My goal on this nine-month journey is to connect with artists every step along the way. What better way to improve my work and to find picturesque spots than painting en masse with local experts? I will be telling stories about my new painting friends and the intriguing sites we see together in this new 2013 Plein Air Odyssey blog.
Dave, my husband, is an integral part of this odyssey. My tech guru, he’s been busy updating my SusiHavensBezaire Fine Art website. As I was driving the RV on our way to Tucson last month, Dave created the new 2013 Plein Air Painting Odyssey map that you see in the left menu. It shows our itinerary and the location of each painting—even the flingers!—and you can even click on the paintbrush icons to see pictures of them! Dave tells me this required reconfiguring how paintings are identified and stored (What??? It’s way to techie for me!). He also added a travel map on our Bezaire’s Ramblings blog. Although I wonder why in the world anyone would want to know where we buy gas—and heaven knows what he’ll show when we use a dump station—if it keeps him happy in his RV computer command station, it’s fine with me! Dave is also an excellent photographer who both creates great photos and shoots all my paintings for the website.