Land & Seascapes of the Pacific Northwest ~ Scenic Artist Goes Plein Air ~
Opening on First Friday, April 7th,, 6pm, at the Vashon Hardware Store, is Steffon Moody’s exhibit of oil paintings titled, “Land & Seascapes of the Pacific Northwest”.
The show will feature about 40 plein air paintings that were all created in the past year. “Plein air” is a French term meaning “open air”, and refers to the method of painting outside in natural light, without the use of photo reference.
The paintings in this exhibit feature scenes from Vashon Island, Leavenworth’s Icicle Creek, and the Methow valley. Steffon seeks to capture the reverence he has for these places. “Painting outside is a form of communion”, he says. “You bond much more with a place when you paint it. You also learn that it takes a long time to see what is in front of you. It keeps unfolding.”
In this series of paintings, he uses the methods of scenic art to inform plein air easel painting. Scenic art and Plein air painting share many sensibilities, but the processes are opposite: Scenic artists take a painted rendering and blow it up into an environment. Plein air painters, take an environment and shrink it onto a small canvas; they require very different skill sets. “People often think that these paintings are watercolors instead of oils,” says Moody. “That’s the scenic method creeping in.” The show will be up through May 2nd.