The process of working outdoors, or 'en plein air’ has been around for centuries, although never more fully embraced than by the Barbizon school of French Realism at the turn of the 19th century. Emily Carr shared in that tradition by working directly from nature, from the First Nations villages of her youth (usually painted in watercolour), to the local Victoria landscapes of her mature work (oil paint thinned with gasoline).
Invite students to take their sketchbooks and favourite drawing tools and find a particular aspect of the exterior landscape that appeals to them. They will then complete a finished work in a single sitting; the vitality captured through the spontaneity of such work will illustrate the value of not over-working.

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