En Plein Site

I am so in awe of people who paint (and sing and sculpt and create!) and people who invest in developing their creative gifts. Like my friend Laurie. The very thought of volunteering to paint school play backdrops makes me shudder but it led her to a passionate pursuit. Please welcome Laurie!

Create Challenge Guest Post #4 – Laurie Heath

Though I have long admired the artistic world of painters and artists, I took a circuitous path to painting. My first degree was in Special Education, my second in Interior Design and, although these are creative fields, something was always missing. I first realized my love for painting when I volunteered to paint three 10’ x 30’ canvas backdrops for our son’s fifth grade class play.

Since then I have painted off and on…sometimes off more than on. When I left the field of interior design, I took a painting class with Pam Glover, a Plein Air painter in Orinda, California. I learned the basics from her and have continued to take workshops from other painters. I stopped painting for about five years with the down turn of the economy and started painting again in just the last year.

Painting is a spiritual endeavor for me, an expression of my love of the outdoors and an attempt to capture through my eyes the light and beauty of God’s creation. I find the outdoors to be invigorating and capturing nature with its colors and light quality challenging. Some days are better than others, and some days I leave feeling like, “Why am I painting?” It seems to be part of the process for me.

Like many painters, my moods, the weather, time constraints and my dog can and do distract me from the creative process. The blank white canvas can be daunting as well – but I continue because I love it. There is something about seeing the colors, mixing them together, which excites me. I seem to cycle through favorite colors and painters which provide inspiration.LHeath boat

This painting I did In October 2008 after hearing a sermon by Rev. Jim Rueb. The sermon message was regarding the down turn of the economy. Jim said something to the effect, “We are all in this boat together.”

The following Wednesday, I went Plein Air painting to Port Costa, and I spotted an old row boat under a tree with yellow leaves about the hull. I painted it very quickly, and thought, Yes, we are all in this boat together… The name of the painting is Le Bateau of Faith.

LHeath bio

Laurie Heath lives and paints in Orinda, California. Her inspirations come from nature, color, and master painters, specifically the French Impressionists and California Landscape Painters. Having spent her childhood on a Nevada cattle ranch, she continues to enjoy the outdoors as a skier and hiker. She has shown her work with the Glover Group and Preserve Lamorinda Open Space. See more of her paintings on her Tumblr site.

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