“I am lucky to live in a place that has many beautiful sites to paint,” says Linda Mutti. “One scene that I return to over and over is Devereux Slough, a coastal preserve only 10 minutes from my home. It’s one of those special places where every direction is paintable. Like an old friend, it feels familiar and comfortable, yet it changes with the time of day, season, tide, and weather. A pair of swans return year after year, and in the small parking lot, a sign reads, ‘For Painters and Birders Only.’ Painting there, I lose myself in meditation as the troubles of the world melt away — that, for me, is the joy of plein air.
“On this day, I could see that the clouds were building so I got to the site early, allowing me to block in the shapes and make color notes on location before the light changed. Back in the studio, I relied on reference photos and my memory to finish the piece. My memories not only provided important visual details, they supplied sensory information as well — the feel of the air, the scents, the sounds of rustling from the trees. When you paint a place over and over, your memory fills the gaps photographs can’t.”