Tim Solliday, one of California’s top plein air artists
Demonstration on May 13
by Dave Crandon
What a fantastic meeting - an opportunity to learn from an exceptional painter and entertaining speaker. Tim’s narrative slide presentation was a rare treat for our Verdugo Hills Art Association's May meeting.
His presentation was especially interesting to me because he went well beyond technique to describe his vision of the characteristics of an excellent painting. I think the audience got particular value from his assertion that a good plein air painting requires an understanding of both physics and poetry - physics to get light and perspective correct, and poetry to create an image that will capture the imagination of viewers. He used several of his own paintings to illustrate poetry in paintings, achieved by moving, adding, or subtracting features of a landscape, and modifying some colors and values in order to build a strong composition.
Of course, he offered plenty of invaluable plein air painting technique tips, too. For example, always stand in the shade when painting plein air, otherwise the colors you see on your paper or canvas will wash out. In addition, make sure that the first thing you do after setting up is to start modeling the important aspects of your subject for which lighting, and therefore colors and shadows, will change most rapidly.
In sum, Tim offered so much insight, and did so in such a freindly and accessible way, that his demonstration ranks right up there among the best of the year.