Monday, August 11, 2008

Oh so much!

Today is the first day of school. And yes you guessed it, I am happy to have some child free time because my younger son is in nap mode for the afternoon. YAY! So this means that I get the wonderful opportunity to be creative for a few hours before older son comes home from his first day of school!

I'm both happy and sad about this "new" moment in my life. The first thing I did after I put him on the bus was go home and call my mother! And yep, she knew exactly when I was about to call and exactly how I was feeling. And we both laughed and sighed together. I've walked around the house so many times today just lost as to what to do before I actually got my stride in to getting chores done. It is so weird!! I'm really glad that I had another child over for the morning to keep youngest son entertained or I'd probably had lost it from the get go.

So, now that I have moments for writing, what do I do? I get on facebook and check out some things that I've not had a chance to check out. One of them happened to be the blog of a college friend of mine, who I haven't seen for a while. We went to BYU together and studied the same major, Illustration. She announced on her blog that she is going for a month to a Plein Air Painting Competition. And honestly I'm pulling a blank, "WHAT is that?" What is Plein Air Painting? And then after googling it, checking out the link she provided from her blog site, and finding a few other references, I find that there is also something called "Plein Air Writing" as well.

Ooooohhhh? I don't know what this is and I am interested.

So lets find out shall we!

En plein air is a French expression which means "in the open air", and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors.

- Wikipedia Definition

So how does one do this with writing then? This article explains it better:

As far as we know, we invented the term “plein-air writing,” right here in the Gorge. We know of no other place in the country, where that term is being used, or has been used, to define a writing event.

With that in mind, we feel free to define it, as we would like. Our definition is thus: Plein-air writing is writing outdoors, with the goal of capturing in an artistically compelling way, what is going on in the moment.

It is different from other forms of writing, in the same ways that plein-air painting is different from other forms of painting.

First, writers are involved in a process of intense observation, absorbing what’s going on around them, and choosing words to reflect the impressions they’re getting about the scene. Just as painters are attuned, writers are attuned to the light and the colors of the day, the sounds or lack of them, the wind, the scents . . . everything.

Second, plein-air writers need to put words down on a piece of paper quickly, before the scene changes. They need to capture their impressions as they occur, in real time, without benefit of subsequently rethinking, reframing, and editing what they think they may have felt or heard or saw at the time.

Third, plein-air writing is every bit as challenging as plein-air painting. Writers need to be highly skilled, to come up with just the right word, just the right emphasis, just the right flow . . . just as painters need to be able to quickly choose the right color and brush, and make just the right stroke.

Finally, because it happens relatively quickly, works written en plein air are primarily short works of art, just as paintings done in plein air are usually small in size.

- web link (Also downloadable PDF)

I think I have to say that I want to try this someday. It sounds like a fun thing to do. I may do it on my own at my home, but someday it would be interesting to actually go for this 5 day competition that they have to try my hand at Plein Air Writing. It sounds so organic and earthy. I think I'd enjoy it. When I can actually break away from the kids and feel confident enough in my writing craft to try it, I'm gonna!