Tag Archives: plein air

St Mark’s, Venice

Painting San Marco Venezia, St Mark's Square, Venice Plein Air

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There’s a lot of history in St Mark’s, a lot of birds, and a lot of tourists!

In old paintings of Venice, Piazza San Marco is full of promenading aristocrats. Now, of course, there are selfie sticks and Indian men selling light up helicopter things.

Even though Venice is seriously threatened by rising sea levels, it struck me that the crowds of people are a lot more ephemeral. Most of them are just here for a few days- St Mark’s Basilica has been here 1000 years. And still, as you can see, under construction.

Del Mar Sketch

Del Mar Landscape Painting Kevin Inman


I usually try to get my plein air pieces to a higher level of finish. This one didn’t quite get there.

I decided to post it anyway because I thought you might find it interesting to see work in such a raw state. So often, we are exposed only to polished work- which sets an impossibly high standard for students.

Even though this piece didn’t make it, it’s still handy for me to be able to pull these studies off the shelf and double check the light, the atmospheric conditions, the colors in the water and so on, how it made me feel. Also the things you notice while spending time in a place- trains going by, many surfers, the wind too strong for my umbrella- all the little details that might be important in a future piece, especially one conceptualized in the studio.

Del Mar Plein Air

Evening, Coronado

It’s always tough painting into the setting sun, but I gave it a shot. Painted on the beach in Coronado.

Painting in Coronado

I’m trying out my new ultra lightweight easel setup. This weighs less than 3 lbs total, including the somewhat rickety $8 tripod. I like to travel light- this is going to be great for trips.

Coronado Beach Plein Air

Painted on the beach in Coronado last week, before I left San Diego for a few days in Las Vegas. Just got around to photographing it today.

I’ve been playing around lately with a more conventional approach to Impressionism. In this piece, Pissarro’s ‘petite tache’ and palette and what all. My approach to painting doesn’t tend to come from that place- I got here via a winding path out of modernist abstraction that eventually led to being on a street corner with a paint box. So it’s fun to tinker with the style, so familiar from childhood visits to the National Gallery of Art in DC. We’ll see if it becomes a thing.

Plein Air, Coronado

Coronado Beach Plein Air

Heat wave in San Diego. When I started this yesterday it was very clear and hot, with strong gusty furnace like winds.

Coronado Day 1

I didn’t quite finish, so I decided to go back this morning. The light, though, was very different today. Sort of like the apocalypse, with a brown haze over the sea horizon (which lifted eventually as it usually does) and a strange murky quality to the air.

Coronado Day 2

Sometimes you have to choose between the act of copying what you see- that’s what Monet was generally trying to do, as accurately as possible – vs poetic license with your color. It would have been easy enough to edit the color to match a brighter, prettier day, but I decided to tread the path of angels and painted it over with today’s overcast light effects.

Boise Summer

This summer I took a trip to Boise and then up to a mountain town called McCall. The green landscape surprised me and I found it very inspiring. I’ve already posted most of the pictures from that trip that were successful.

This one was less successful at the first go so I tried to push it in a different direction when I got back to San Diego. I thought about painters like Daubigny or Diaz who reworked a plein air hot mess into a successful studio landscape for one thing. And another, I thought of European classical landscapes. Even though there are no Roman ruins or dancing nymphs here, I was re-reading Game of Thrones and found it easy to picture this rugged landscape as the setting for parts of Westeros.