Living Seasonally and My Changing Studio Process

I am a homebody by nature. I love being home, working in my studio in my garden.

I also love the seasons of the year.

As an artist, I strive to always paint seasonally, and before this year, this always meant that I would paint what is blooming in my garden. Painting only from life. However when my family moved, my studio situation changed, and I no longer had a large northern facing window. Now my lovely and larger studio has only one window that is smaller in size and faces west. This change in the fundamental design of my studio layout has forced me to reassess my studio practice. And I am happy to share that I am adapting and really liking how it is changing.

I am still committed to recording the seasons with my paintings, but instead of painting the flowers that are blooming in my studio, I am going outside in painting in my garden.

 This year I’ve committed to learning to paint in plein air, and have been enjoying the immediacy of this painting practice. It requires intensive concentration for short spurts of time because the light changes so rapidly. In two hours the sun shifts in the sky, thus changing the angle of shadows and highlights, and even the color notes observed.

[ Image of azaleas, image of watercolor sketch of crocus and Hyacinth]

In the spring, I dipped my toe in sketching and painting oil sketches. 

[Image of foxglove, close-up and distant ]

As the summer has progressed, painting in plein air has become a part of my life. I paint a sketches regularly. Typically in the morning before I do anything else. It helps me connect with the season and slow down and observe how my garden is changing.

Elizabeth Floyd