Retouching Plein Air
Painting an area more than once helps you learn more about your subject. “Date Palms” was painted on location at the Field’s Date Farm, in La Quinta, California. I never put in the mountains behind. Coachella Valley is surrounded by sandy colored bluffs and mountains in all different shapes and sizes. All day they appear to change color. Being from North Dakota, a band of blue across the horizon anywhere, even from trees, is exciting to see. It is so much fun to work with mountains.
At Fields, the mountains were shorter and almost a straight blue line behind the trees. I couldn’t decide where to line up the mountains with the trees, and it was lunch time. Later driving by La Quinta, I realized it doesn’t have to be a straight line of mountains. It was so simple just to add the irregular mountain shapes and make the painting work. It is good to think of alternatives.