Plein Air Watercolor

During the first days of spring, an artist stood outside my window painting a plein air watercolor on his easel.

Plein Air Watercolor

Perched on tiptoes and peering through the screen, I watched his process. Some folks gathered outside and did the same.

Watching an Artist Paint En Plein Air

Since moving to this beautiful place on the Hudson, I’ve been attuned to the change of seasons and the time of the sunrise and sunset more than ever before. For the past two years, early signs of spring have been marked by the lush magnolia blossoms in the front yard and the jubilant yellow greens in the back. So an artist painting a painting outside my window was an unexpectedly serene way to ring in Spring 2022 before the first buds had even sprung.

It made me imagine what the backyard looked like some 200 years ago when the Hudson River School was painting the River Valley and nearby Catskills and Adirondack regions. My interest led me to visit the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers just down the street. While the majority of the permanent collection was packed away for a special exhibition, I was taken aback by the art of Jack Stuppin who made this:

Hudson Valley Bright Colors Painting
Jack Stuppin. Olana Trail, 2020. (Photo mine)

A friend who studied art history once told me that despite her formal training, her analysis turned on whether she wanted the painting in her living room.

I want this painting in my entrance. I want it to be the first thing I see when I walk in. White walls, dark mahogany beams, cathedral ceilings, and this painting.

In the meantime, I’m more than content with this plein air watercolor outside my window.

Hudson River Art

Thanks for reading! If you liked this post about plein air watercolor, you might like this one about waving hello on the trail.

Brown and red leaves with frost on grass

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  1. Lol that’s such a random and cool thing to find outside your window, and such a huge canvas too! This artist even has his set-up down pat. And that Jack Stuppin piece is wonderful. I love the colours and the textures. How long did that artist spend outside your window?

    1. It was such a great way to welcome in spring, and it got me interested in learning more about the Hudson River School genre. There’s a museum in Hartford, CT that houses a lot of the paintings, but it was nice to see a few at the museum down the street including that wonderful Jack Stuppin painting. I watched the artist for about half an hour, but then I went outside, so I don’t know how long he was actually there. But it was a huge canvas, yes, and must have taken time. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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