In Pursuit of Beauty is more about beauty finding me than the other way around. Or rather, more accurately, opening my eyes to finally see that which has always been around me.

Recently, I took up pleinair painting which is the art of sitting in the open air and painting that which is around you during which you experience changing light, changing weather conditions, and exposure to all elements, including other beings who may be in the area with you. Impressionists may have been most responsible for promoting this art to the respected pursuit that it is today, and most pleinair painters paint in some form of Impressionism or another. However, I am still struggling not with the style but rather more with the conditions.

Since living here in Michigan, I have taken up with a group who call themselves the "Pleinair Painters of Michigan." They meet every Saturday morning at 8:00 at the Nature Center in Kensington Metro Park off of I-96, and from there they journey together to a place of their choosing to paint in the open air for a few hours. They meet every Saturday, even if it's -12 degrees, as long as it's sunny. If it rains, no one shows. Now, when I say I've taken up with them, that doesn't mean I've managed to paint with them more than two or three times since January (my first outing). Either it's rained on the Saturday that I'm available, I'm not available, or I've overslept (it's Saturday...give me a break). Or even sadder yet, it rains until about 10am and then it's beautiful...like today. Then, I have to decide, do I have the moxie to get up and go out on my own on this beautiful day and paint, or skip it because the group isn't going to be there with me and it's chilly and damp. Well, you know my choice. I'm here writing a blog about it.

And that my friends, is what it's all about. That's why beauty sometimes has to come in pursuit of me; its golden light spilling over the window sills into my office and astonishing me.


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