Composition of Outdoor Painting

Some books just rise above the others, some seemingly choose you, and some just keep coming back to you through all your years.

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I was introduced to “Composition of Outdoor Painting” almost two decades ago. It still is one of my go to books of choice. The book was first printed in 1941 (now in it’s 7th printing).

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Edgar Payne (1883-1947) was a gifted plein-air painter whose powerful work and impressionistic style inspired many an artist. His bold use of color and rugged landscapes captivated audiences. He was one of the first artists to illuminate the Sierras and the Southwest.

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I was lucky to see a traveling show of a large body of his work: Edgar Payne: The Scenic Journey in Pasadena several years ago. The link above is a retrospective book of his work and was printed to coincide with the show. The printing is top notch, but I have to admit seeing the originals are simply sublime.

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Here is a nice retrospective video on Edgar Payne

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Payne wrote his book at the latter part of his life and gives us a wonderful insight in his thought process and painting language. It is filled with pages and pages of thumbnails for compositions and his suggestions for what makes a “good” composition.

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I simply love his line work and simplicity of his design of composition (which is not simple at all).Ā  His dated prose style may not be for all readers, but there is a certain tone to it that I rather enjoy. The book is filled with designs and compositional instruction that any artist will devour. Whenever I am at a loss at a composition, I am always drawn back to this excellent book for some help.

“Originality is but old thoughts made over.”

-E.A.P.

Quiet week….some book recommendations

So, I’ve just been working on training up in Substance this week. Nothing really to report so I figured I’d talk about some books I’ve been reading.

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I always have a queue of books on Amazon that I’m itching to download to my Kindle app. Before I go on, I have to say I’m the most amazed at my adoption to reading books on tablets. I’ve always been an avid reader and loved the tactile quality of reading a book. I became an early convert though. I had gone on two overseas business trips for work (about a year apart from each trip). First trip, I brought books to read and bought books while there. I think I came back with my suitcase full of 10-12 books (very much heavier luggage). The second trip, I brought my new Kindle and read 12-15 books while being away but only had to bring back the Kindle. Much much lighter luggage.

So anyway I get sidetracked, here are some books I’m really digging. They got recommended to me from friends, sites I’ve read, blog casts, etc.

  1. Mastery. As the title sounds, it’s to help you reach mastery within an area of focus.
  2. Eat that Frog!Ā Is a self help book to aid in getting things done.
  3. Pivot. What’s next? An ex-Google employee helps you figure where to go next.
  4. Purple Cow. Transforming your business and making yourself stand out.\
  5. The Power of Habit. Delves into theĀ scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed.

Well, that’s it. My little reading list for now. Hope any or all of these are interesting.