The light of summer is a powerful and extreme thing. Getting
effects of extreme darks and stark, searing lights is not something every
painter can do. There's an acuteness of vision that must come into play to see
the color that resides in the light as well.
When I look at the work of pastel painting artist Jane
McGraw-Teubner, I see that kind of vision. Take any one of her pastel drawings
and there is a sense of time of day and seasonality present. This probably
comes from the fact that McGraw-Teubner spends a good deal of time outside of
her studio, painting the landscape outdoors.
|End of Summer by Jane McGraw-Teubner, pastel painting on paper, 11 x 14.
You can always tell an accomplished painter by what they can
do when they are painting outside because nothing is a given and there are
challenges galore. McGraw-Teubner always seems to find an interesting vantage
point that makes her composition stick in your head. And then there's the way
she uses color, light, and texture to reinforce a composition. For example, she
might play with a diagonal direction in a painting. She'll not only establish
this with a physical element--like a tract of road or a field of flowers--but
she'll reinforce the direction or sense of movement with color contrasts or a
pattern of light and shadow. Smarty!
|Avalon Barn by Jane McGraw-Teubner, pastel painting on pastelbord, 11 x 14.
I'm also drawn to the way she incorporates different natural
elements in her pastel drawings. There's a sense of the land, but usually a
waterway and patch of sky as well. All of these combined give a plein air
painting a breadth and scope that is really welcome.
If you have an interest in pastel painting in the great
outdoors and want to make the most of your time when you go, McGraw-Teubner's
new DVD, En Plein Air: Pastel Landscape
Painting is a video workshop definitely worth watching. It delves into all the elements that make a great work of
art--whether it is created inside the studio or out. Enjoy!