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October 29, 2008 > Plein air painting, a breeze

Plein air painting, a breeze

The Fremont Art Association (FAA) will introduce Laura Williams as their November guest artist. Williams will demonstrate the techniques used in plein air painting using a photograph taken on location. She will explain how she sets up, plans the painting with a preliminary sketch and then paints her plan. The discussion will talk about composition, design, color, atmospheric perspective, edges brush work and painting.

After receiving her BFA from the University of Massachusetts, with high honors, Williams decided to take a road trip. On this trip Williams fell passionately in love with the great outdoors and the magic of geology and archeology and history of the great mountains, rivers, streams, oceans, trees and the people that inhabit these lands. She had been a "city kid" with urban concerns and not so used to the power of reflection on the simple beauty that surrounds all of us.

Williams has worked as a studio artist and a commercial artist for many years, always driven to find a spiritual path that inspired her and to find fulfillment. So, one day she decided that her passion was out there - the big world that surrounds her and all its amazing beauty. Combining being outside with her passion for painting makes the art-making process truly a joy-filled and spiritual experience. As a landscape painter en plein air, Williams finds that being outside observing the ever changing dance of light to be true witness to the face of God. The experience of painting outdoors is awe-inspiring and, at times, humbling.

Williams's goal is to capture this experience, defined by color, light and atmosphere and her emotional interpretation of the moment. She works quickly, with large brushes and lots of paint to match the pace of the sun and to keep the scene that she is involved in fresh and energized.

Her inspiration often comes from the simple, often overlooked in our busy lives- a lone boat, or a simple tree surrounded in perfect light. Sometimes, a funny thing happens when she is setting up-she thinks she has an opportunity to paint a subject that she has designed to be good, challenging, unique, with good light, and then she turns around to get her gear, looks up and sees something far more paintable. Spontaneity - a painters gift! Sometimes she refers to these works of art as "paintings that paint themselves".

Williams's paintings have often been described as peaceful and serene. This assessment describes the fundamental reason why she paints. She is truly inspired by the peace and serenity of the natural world that surrounds us. Presently, she is trying to capture the beauty and perfection of a location that is endangered or already slated to be developed. "The mind of the painter should be like a mirror which always takes the color of the thing that it reflects, and which is filled by as many images as there are things placed before it."

Plein air painting, a breeze
Wednesday, November 5
7 p.m.
FAA Gallery
37659 Niles Blvd., Fremont
(510) 792-0905

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