Collins, Fire Island Marsh, 2003
The artist on landscape painting ...
I love the connection between painting outside--scrupulously observing the details and nuances of nature--and painting in the studio, remembering, inventing, and conceptualizing the landscape. Each time I paint outside, I'm desperately trying to record all that I can, to organize the infinite complexity of nature, but sometimes it is hard to know what to look for and pay attention to. Once I'm back in the studio, I find myself asking a million questions—such as whether the horizon could conceivably be pink at this time of day or the surface of the water could ever be lighter than the sky in a certain context—and wishing that I had noticed more when I was outside. At these moments I vow that I will pay more attention when I'm outdoors, and when I go outside, I end up working with a renewed intensity because I have so many questions in my mind.
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