“Painting Outside”

Ilene Gienger-Stanfield

Ilene Gienger-Stanfield became a consummate figurative pastel painter during her career as an artist, yet in recent years her experimentations have led her to enjoy the challenges of painting outside. Light and shadow, bright colors, confident brushwork, and strong compositions give her plein air paintings a universal appeal. Ilene’s show opens Friday, April 8, at noon, and continues through Sunday, May 1, at 5 pm. Come to a reception to welcome our guest on Saturday, April 9 from 1–3 pm.

Artist Exhibit Statement

Masonry, 8 x 8 oil by Ilene Gienger
“Masonry,” 8 x 8 oil painting by Ilene Gienger

My first intensive art studies were in the portraiture and figurative realm. Painting from a live model is a close-up and personal subject. As I broadened my subjects, Plein air was a new but familiar format in that I am still working from life with the exception of painting outside. The difference is rapidly changing shadows, not trespassing to get a good view of the old barn, getting paint on the inside and outside of your car, insects, and the very worst…wind. Oh, and a bathroom is not readily available. There is, however, the same underlying challenge. Capturing your intention in a limited amount of time.

Artists will vary in their approach to Plein air painting from executing a study to reference later in the studio or finishing on site. I prefer to finish on-site, often returning the next day, or two, at the same time to complete the painting.

Strong colors and shadows always catch my attention which is more likely going to be a nearby subject. In nearby subjects the shadows change fast, but I can’t resist the attraction. A fellow painter once told me “we come all the way out here and you paint the mailboxes.”

Melissa Taylor Cottage, 8 x 8 oil by Ilene Gienger
Melissa Taylor Cottage,” 8 x 8 oil by Ilene Gienger

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