On a recent trip to Maine I painted by the seashore. You see the water behind me! That’s because I faced my van into the sun in order to have the shade of the raised rear van door to paint under. Having to refer to an image behind me is no problem since it’s the painting that’s important. I don’t copy scenery; I make paintings! A selective memory is a great helper for an artist. The paintings are done quickly, with lots of paint, and with speedy revisions to capture the feeling of energy and movement in the painting.
Most of the time I paint in the studio from pen and ink sketches that accumulate quite quickly. I only paint en plein air a few times a year, to keep my feet on the ground both literally and figuratively. It’s a bit redundant to drive long distances searching for idyllic scenes, but having the paint supplies set up in my van makes it possible to do a painting when the scene comes along!