Going outside is important. It’s what drew me to plein air painting in the first place. I loved being outside before I remember loving Art and drawing, plein air just seemed a good opportunity to combine the two.
Do you need to be with someone to enjoy it? I’m happy either way, but I can highly recommend some solo endeavours if you haven’t partaken in while, if ever. When there’s no one to talk to, you notice more. You feel more. Our attention, so easily diverted, can reveal wonderful things when focussed on simply how it feels to be outside, in weather.
Go walk up a hill. A big one, if you can. Don’t wait for a sunny day – this exercise isn’t about drinking in postcard scenes of normal pretty things, it’s about feeling light rain on your cheeks, or realising that maybe you should’ve worn that thicker coat, or brought that torch now the sun has gone down and you’re still 30 minutes from the car.
Our ancestors didn’t live under artificial lights in heated cubes. They took on the elements and connected to them, like proper animals. Get out there now and again and contemplate that, it does wonders for the mood.