Fredericksburg plein air painter Jenna Anderson on why she steps out of the studio.
How long have you been a plein air painter?
I’m primarily a figurative and portrait painter, and I’ve really grown to love painting outside. A part of that was searching for a way to paint from life, and that is the best practice to even strengthen my portrait work and figurative pieces.
When you travel and paint, do you keep to Virginia?
I have taken for granted the area I live [in]. It is incredibly beautiful in Virginia; it is incredibly beautiful in West Virginia and places nearby. There’s rolling hills, and you have the oceans, and then we have the mountains nearby. We have rivers and lakes and farmland; it’s just really an abundance of inspiration all around us. And my eyes are open Fato it even more.
What materials do you use, and what brands do you recommend?
Hardback sketchbook (Canson), portable easel (Edge Pro Gear), rubber-tip brush (Catalyst by Princeton), oil paints (Rembrandt), gloves, linen panels, paper towels, a small backpack and a box for artwork transport.
Do you prefer to work outdoors?
The biggest way to get inspired, even if you’re a portrait or figure painter and you paint primarily at home, like I do, is to just get outside in this weather and free yourself. Let yourself paint whatever you want to paint. Nobody has to see the piece. You can throw it away if you want to, or paint over it. But for your art, for you, just get out of the house.
If you’d like to get started with plein air painting but could use fellow artists by your side, take a look at these groups: