Plein Air Poet


I know many wonderful plein air painters, however unfortunate – I am not one of them.  I’ve tried a couple of times to capture the light and beauty of an outdoor landscape using paint and pastel.  I just cannot seem to do it well.  Mosquitoes bite me, flies swim under the brim of my hat, sweat mixes with paint, my pastels fall to the ground, people swarm and ask unanswerable questions.  It’s just not a pretty sight nor is it worth it at this point.   I am outdoors most every day working in one garden or another, so I deal with heat and humidity, wind beyond belief, rain, frost and freezing temperatures all the time.  In order for me to plein air paint – the conditions have to be exquisite as a prerequisite for any fun or success at all.  There are probably about ten of these exquisite days throughout the season, and I am most likely working happily outside anyway.

That being said, however – I do enjoy writing outdoors and try to poet a delectable landscape with painterly words.  My aha moment – I finally got itI am a plein air poet.  It’s amazing how long it takes me to discover truths about myself, but once I do, I am tickled as a teenager.  Even the negative stuff lights a bulb in my brain that allows a conduit for change.

Last Sunday morning I drove to a lovely arboretum in Chester Township, NJ – Willowwood Arboretum.  It is a wonderful native and managed park in Morris County.  Here then is a plein air poem brush-stroked on an exquisite plein air Sunday morning:

Plein Air Poet

I stop at the edge

of a wildflower meadow to watch

the amber and russet grasses

climb a distant knoll.

Goldenrod drifts freely about

and a lone Bluebird house

is vacant for the rest of the season.

At the edge of this meadow

I begin to hear another exchange –

bees humming along flying inside and out

of feverfew and globe thistle.

Slender reeds bend in an easy flow

as birds chirp and flit from treetops and sky.

Crickets continue their morning chitter

as the sun rises in a sleepy stretch.

All is well in the field.

ag ~ 2013


7 thoughts on “Plein Air Poet

  1. An open-air poet – I like that. You certainly painted a word picture for me. I’m interested in your photos, too – what is the paper cut in the first? So intriguing with the green landscape beyond. Also, the window frame is very wabi-sabi. I see you! (I enlarged.)

    1. Barb, that is actually a cotton curtain, and I am taking the photo from indoors (actually a very rustic bathroom) looking out on the green trees. I am so captivated by light that I’ll try taking any photo from any angle! Thanks for spotting me in the second. I too love wabi-sabi.

  2. Andrea, Move to Santa Fe where almost every day is right for plein air painting and writing. Since I moved here in June we have had only 4 totally cloudy days….The reason I believe this is a place of abundant creativity. One thing that is here like the east is the seasonal cold of which I have right now. Grace Mattern and her husband arrive tonight. My first East Coast overnight guests. Hugs, Marsie

    Sent from my Galaxy S®III

    1. Hey Marsie, you are the perennial optimist! You remember that you said the light in Gloucester was like that in Paris! and it was and it is in Santa Fe. The light and the land grow artists in both areas. I will check it out soon. Hello to Grace and enjoy her visit!

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