I've got six paintings exhibited through Sept 8, at the Cabrillo National Monument Visitors Center. This is the annual Art in the Park event, and the Center is filled with oil paintings from Southern California artists. These are my six, done during my artist residency at Cabrillo:
Untouched--Intertidal Zone is 20X24", Dudleya Live-Forever and Searchlight Shelter are both 10 X 8", and Stairs on Tidepool Path, Pelican Scanning, and End of Point Haze are all 6 X 8".
To pick up the thread of the last post, a few more thoughts about memory. We can train ourselves to allow memory a role in our work. Henri talks about memory training, and so do modern teachers like Kevin Macpherson and Terry Miura. Henri envisioned a studio where the model would pose in one room, and the students would look and ponder, then go to another room to paint or draw. Macpherson recommends a similar exercise with landscape--spending 20-30 minutes just meditating on a scene, then going home and painting it from memory.
But why do we need memory when we paint from life? Well, because sometimes conditions change, or are different to begin with, from what would best express our inner experience of a subject. And, in the case of plein air painting, there are always some edits and always gaps to fill. If you can envision it, you can fill that gap and have it speak as clearly as the rest of the elements. But if you don't have this skill, whatever you improvise will look contrived and not convincing. It won't fit.
Memory is a skill you need to have in order to speak your personal truth about the subject. And that's what you're going for--not the truth, YOUR truth.