S. Klug

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I  had the opportunity to visit Giverny, France and pain in Claude Monet's  garden. We were permitted to paint early in the morning before the  garden was opened to the public and after hours. Even with the  threatening rain and actual rain, I painted.


Claude Monet and his fellow impressionists painted outside "en plein air". Plein air painting refers to creating a work of art outside. The desire to paint  light and its changing, ephemeral qualities is the challenge for a plein air artist.


As a plein air painter, I paint on site capturing the feeling of time of day and the  surroundings. After studying the scene before me and doing a quick  sketch to determine the value relationships and movement I want to  create in the painting, I work directly on the canvas. Plein air paintings are created quickly because of the changing light and shadows.


Using  a limited palette: warm and cool red, warm and cool yellow, warm and  cool blue and white I enjoy the excitement of mixing and combining  colors. To me this is the joy of painting. I use the colors to build the  shapes of objects in my paintings. Often I will do an underpainting of  the composition using the one primary color. Spots of this color will be  seen in the finished composition adding life to the painting. The  Fauves, Georgia O'Keefe, and Monet have influenced my use of color while  I simplify the shapes of objects.