Journey In Oils
Plein Air Ramblings...

When an artist friend of mine first convinced me to try the outdoor painting thing, I wasn't too sure about it. The french call it "en plein air" and once I tried it, I discovered I loved it. That was about the year 2000 and I am still dragging my easel out to various locations and slap some paint around on a canvas or wooden panel.

Perhaps it is a selfish thing, this love for plein air. It is nice to just pack up my easel and go out into the great outdoors and paint what ever comes across my path. There is no art director or client standing over my shoulder to say "I like it, but, could you change this and this and this." (no offense to art directors and clients:-)

Most of the work I do to pay the bills keeps me chained to a computer screen. (Computers are the kind of thing you can love and hate many times during a single day.) Painting in the open air is a great stress reliever. Its kind of theraputic. It also provides a great opportunity to learn more about the painting process, color, light, etc.

And then there is the worship... I am finding the experience of going out in God's awesome creation and painting His handy work, in the natural light, to be a great time of communing with the Creator, a time of praise, yes and even worship. A place away from all distractions. (provided there is no cell signal)

Psalm 9:1 says: I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.

And Psalm 19:1 and 2 says this: "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge."

God has created an awesome universe and when I go out and paint, no matter how the painting turns out, I can't help but praise Him for all His creative works, and, for His redemptive work when Christ died for my sins. He is a God who is worthy of our praise in all we do.

To contact Steve Miller - email:

Paint Out in Waxahachie, Texas - 2008
Image Bearer won best of show in 2008 Visual Arts Society of Texas 40th Annual Visual Arts Exhibition
Paint Out in Waxahachie, Texas - 06-07

The French expression en plein air means "in the open air" and is most used to describe the act of painting outside in the enviroment. It is by far the most enjoyable painting experience. Most who try it once are hooked.

Part of the appeal for painting "en plein air" is the natural light. While painting from photos gives the artist more unrushed time, photos do not capture all the subtle colors and depth that can be observed in nature.

Usually, plein air paintings are done quickly, within a couple of hours and are painted on smaller panels or canvas, rarely no larger than a 12" x 16". The primary reason for the short time and small painting surface is the ever-changing light. Light and shadows will change dramatically in a 2 hours span of time.

You can learn more by clicking here!

Below are various plein air locations and setups.
Galvaston, Texas
Galvaston, Texas
City park during winter, Irving, Texas
Winds of Time II
Bosque County, Texas
Winds of Time-I
On the Penn Farm in Cedar Hill, Texas
Reagor Springs
Old barn outside Reagor Springs, Texas
1950 Plymouth
1950 Plymouth in Waxahachie, Texas
Perdanales State Park
Wind was blowing so hard had to tie down easel and umbrella in trees in order to paint.
Jail House Rock
Painting of the old historic Jail in Waxahachie, Texas
Farm to Market Road 205
Near Glen Rose, Texas
Waxahachie Courthouse
Quick Draw event in Waxahachie, Texas
House portrait in Waxahachie, Texas
Fall Creek Falls
Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee
Climb out
Part of the climb out of Fall Creek Falls canyon.
Note the steel cable and guy in blue standing
near top. And yes, those are indeed white legs.
Canyon Creek
Near Granbury, Texas
Cades Cove-Tennessee
Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountain National
Park - Tennessee
Cotton Pick'en Machine
Cotton country near Waxahachie, Texas
Texas farmland
Texas farmland
Pilot Point, Texas
Near Pilot Point, Texas
Smoky Mountain National Park
Smoky Mountain National Park, Cherokee,
North Carolina
Historic Waxahachie Courthouse
Historic Waxahachie, Texas Courthouse
Byers-Toombs House
Waxahachie, Texas- house portrait
Waxahachie, Texas