Mary R. Holobaugh

Centerburg, OH.

Painting outside among all the elements offered, is a great way to stay in touch with Mother Nature. Outdoors, one not only sees, but feels and hears their surroundings.

When your subject is not right in front of you, one may use logic with how to approach it with your paints. When looking directly, out through the atmosphere, you see the shadows and reflected lights, which you may never have considered including in your work. These are the nuances I look for when I am out in the field.

A deep look into the shadows and reflections around us every day in our landscapes or cityscapes. I look to capture the temperature and the movement of the day, the activity of the birds and other wildlife, for many times they tell the weather. Conveying these messages in a plein air painting, for me, is the completion of a painting.

Painting from life is a spontaneous avenue to follow. Capturing the fleeting moments nature has granted us, documenting on canvas with colors and shadows, the day proceeds.

Catching that scene, that light, that color that attracted you in the beginning, you hold steadfast until the end, your interpretation of the moment.

I was first introduced to plein air painting at the age of 10 by my Great Aunt while visiting her family farm in Iowa. She took me out to one of the many ponds and we sketched a blackbird in the cattails. She then assisted me with an array of oil paints, and helped me paint the blackbird onto canvas. This lesson, followed by many years of correspondence

by mail, and a lot of encouragement to paint, paint, paint. Years of painting did continue, although not plein air. With a residency at The Artist Colony in Vermont, artists involved were encouraged to paint plein air. The door was opened again, and I stepped right through the opening paints in hand.