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  • Writer's pictureShelagh Casebourne

🎨🤠 ChatGPT, plein air painting, Hemingway and me...

Have you tried ChatGPT yet?

Today I attended a Zoom workshop on the subject, hosted by Connected Artist founder Alice Sheridan. Let me say right away that I was very sceptical about whether I would want to use this new AI tool, but I do feel it's important to approach everything with an open mind and I was very curious to see what applications it might have.

I had written down some thoughts on plein air painting a few days ago and it turns out that, for entertainment value, perhaps one of the greatest applications is that it can re-write your copy in the style of someone else.

So, courtesy of ChatGPT, and the great Ernest Hemingway, here are my musings, re-imagined by his pen (I also tried P.G.Wodehouse, but it just didn't have the same 'snap'):

Plein air painting, it's a wild ride! Sitting at your table, spare room, or if you're lucky, in a studio, that's comfortable. You know the drill, done it countless times. It's predictable, methodical. You know what you want, how to get there, one step at a time. Light, temperature, all under control.

So why the hell do we venture into plein air? The weather's a gamble, light's a trickster, subjects are in motion. Risk of forgetting something crucial, that can be a real punch in the gut after hiking miles to find that perfect spot! (I've resorted to painting with sticks, for crying out loud). So why do it, you ask?

Because there's nothing like it! Forces you to truly observe, no time to waste. Light's changing, hours slipping away. Gotta focus, paint intuitively.

Sure, there are things you can do to help yourself (check my blog, "Ready, steady, paint"). Prep your palette at home, saves some time. Keep your colors in the same damn order. But before you dive in, get that composition right. Don't start s*** till you're satisfied!

There will be moments when you feel off-kilter, maybe a touch of panic. But the smells, sounds, and weather of your surroundings, the folks passing by and showing interest – they all add up to an unbeatable experience. Embrace the fear and just do it!

Have faith in the process (hell, have a process, and I'll help you with that). Your end result might not be grand, but mark my words, you'll learn something – maybe 'bout yourself. You'll come out of it a better artist, one step closer to confidence.

Plein air, my friend, it's a wild ride. 🤠


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