Pandemic Pleine Air

Bernie Tennis - June 2022

June 1 - 30, 2022

Description: The paintings and drawings you see here were mostly painted during Covid times (In the year of the virus), when all my gigs and most other activities tanked. Painting and drawing 'en pleine air' was something I could safely do while social-distancing, and became a passion that filled many hours and days during the dearth of other activities. I paint in watercolor, using a direct technique, attempting to be as free and loose with the medium as possible while still maintaining an identifiable location, and capturing the light. The drawings are much tighter, and progress from a light pencil sketch to ink line, mid-tones laid in with grease crayons and china markers, and darkest darks done with felt-tip markers.

With a few exceptions all the work you see here was executed completely 'en pleine air', or begun that way and finished off later in the studio. The exceptions are several of the watercolor scenes that were painted entirely in studio from photos I took on winter hikes.

Artist Statement: I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember, though there has been an ebb and flow to my development over time. Family, social, and other interests, not to mention the necessities of earning a living, have competed for my attention and often taken priority.

But I have always come back to art. I have been a fulltime artist for a decade. That earning a living thing is largely taken care of by drawing portraits and caricatures at art fairs and other festivals, as well as many private events, mostly weddings and corporate parties. I use color painting crayon for that work, a medium that allows for fast execution. Speed is important, but accuracy and likeness are still paramount.

However my serious work is done in watercolor. I enjoy the immediacy and vibrancy (and unpredictability) of the medium and the way colors can interact without compromising their individuality. And there are almost as many styles of watercolor painting as there are watercolor painters, so the possibilities are without bound. Whether painting portraits or landscapes in the studio, or working ‘en pleine air’ (my current passion!) life doesn’t get any better.