Clark Mitchell: Bring the Outdoors In

My studio landscapes in pastels have blossomed ever since I began to paint regularly on location many years ago. Outdoors, my goal is to reproduce as closely as possible whatever effects of light and atmosphere first catch my eye and heart. When I go into the studio to work my location pieces into larger landscapes, my goal is to create the most dramatic, eye-catching scenes possible. Often these two don?t look much alike. It?s my challenge to make my studio work fresh and alive by incorporating the best of what I?ve done on location.

Perfection (pastel, 14 x 21)

Sometimes the scenes I produce on location do hang together well. Therefore I?m encouraged to frame and sell these “roadsides,” as a friend likes to call them. For a number of reasons, however, these pieces are about all I keep of each year?s output. Because the very nature of working outdoors keeps the artist under pressure, the results can be quite variable. Many efforts are personal tests to see if a particular effect or combination of shapes can be captured and would not stand alone as interesting art. I?ve been known to brilliantly capture a frankly boring day! And since I leave the major portion of the editing until later in the studio, what I?ve put down on paper might at times be confusing to the viewer. I prefer to take all the time necessary, where conditions are fully controllable, to create the most intriguing landscapes possible.

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