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  • Writer's pictureAlan Linquist

YouTube Videos


      When I started painting many years ago, I did not think that there were problems that needed to be solved.  And yet, every step of the way there were issues to deal with, from deciding which materials to use, to what artistic approach I would take.  These problems and their solutions were not so complex that I couldn’t handle them.  Like everything else in life, the problems were there, and I needed to solve them in order to move on.  But in the wake of covid, times had changed.  It was at that time that I returned to painting after a number of years away from it.  To my surprise, I found that quite a number of artists have taken to YouTube to explain all those problems, and their solutions, the same problems I had faced by myself over the years.

     I found that there were quite a number of artists who do plein air painting and film themselves doing so.  Many of them paint on smaller canvases, much smaller than I do.  I also see that there are quite a number of people who like see them paint.  These video artists discuss what materials they use, their painting processes, how they paint various objects, and even how they prepare themselves for whatever weather can be expected.  I’ve even watched artists paint in extremely cold weather.  That’s something I’ve only done on a few occasions, and it’s not that fun.

     I’ve also come across artists that have been trained by one of the few atelier training schools that now exist.  Apparently, these schools may be growing in number, especially, if an interest in this kind of work grows.  This is something surprised me.

     I like some of the artists I watch.  I’ve written to a few of them via their YouTube channels.  I’ve dealt with many of the issues they now discuss a long time ago.  Some of the issues are valid, such as explaining the cause and effect of using certain tools, or pigments. Others seem a bit unnecessary, but solutions may be difficult for some people to find.

     Still, when the weather is bad, and I’m stuck indoors, it’s nice to watch people painting in various locations, such as the West Coast or even in Europe.  I imagine how I would handle issues in those locations and conditions.  I’ve even decided to tackle my own West Coast inspiration by driving over to Lake Michigan and seeing what I can find in the way of an interesting panting project.  When I lived in Milwaukee, I painted Lake Michigan a number of times, with one of those paintings hanging over our bed.

     In fact, that’s what I get most from these artists and their videos: Ideas of where to paint and what kind of arrangement I could use to tackle the subject.  On some gloomy, rainy day, you may also want to watch some of those plein air videos simply as a way to brighten your day.

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