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Discovering the Magic of Plein Air Painting: A Tranquil Journey in a Church Garden

Toronto, Ontario, is a city known for its vibrant art scene, bustling streets, and diverse culture. As an artist, I have always yearned to embrace the enchanting world of plein air painting. There's nothing I love more than being surrounded by nature, and the concept of painting along with that is just lovely. Recently, I had opportunity to discover the joys of plein air painting with oil paints in a serene little church garden. Let me take you on a journey through my first-time experience, capturing the beauty of nature around me.

A Brush with Nature:

This little church garden became my oasis of creativity and tranquility. As I stepped into the garden, a serene atmosphere embraced me, the sounds of traffic and city life fading into the background. Tall trees provided a natural canopy, casting dappled sunlight on the flowers and pathways. The scent of blooming flowers filled the air, invigorating my senses and inspiring my artistic spirit. The wind blew gently around me and guided me to find a good spot to set up.

Embracing the Medium: Oil Paints:

Equipped with my new easel, palette, and the primaries, I stood before the canvas and thought about how to bring the scene to life. Working with oil paints for the first time outdoors, I was at peace knowing they wouldn't dry out quickly.

The Challenges and Rewards:

Painting en plein air presents its fair share of challenges. The ever-changing light, shifting shadows, and the need to work swiftly to capture the essence of the scene demanded focus and adaptability. The feeling of time slipping away added an exhilarating touch to the process, reminding me to trust my instincts and make bold artistic choices.

As I mixed the paints, blending hues and capturing the subtleties of light and shadow, I felt a profound connection with nature. Each stroke of the brush became a conversation between me and the scene, a dance of color and form. Time seemed to slow down, allowing me to immerse myself fully in the act of creation.

The Beauty of Imperfection:

One of the most valuable lessons I learned during my plein air painting experience was embracing the imperfections and unexpected surprises that arise when working in the outdoors. The breeze occasionally blew, causing my canvas to sway and challenging my precision. Yet, these unplanned elements added a touch of authenticity to my work, capturing the true essence of the moment and reminding me that art is a journey, not just a destination.


My first-time experience painting en plein air in a little church garden was a transformative journey. It allowed me to embrace the beauty of nature and explore the depths of my creativity. As I packed up my easel and paints, a sense of fulfillment washed over me, knowing that I had captured a small slice of beauty on my canvas.

Plein air painting offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature, challenge oneself as an artist, and witness the ever-changing dance of light and colour. I encourage all artists to venture outside their studios and embrace the wonders of plein air painting. Ontario's rich artistic tapestry, combined with the serene beauty of its hidden gems like the church garden, provide the perfect backdrop for such an adventure.

So, pack your paints, set up your easel, and embark on your own plein air journey! Let the magic of nature guide your brush and open your heart to the extraordinary world waiting to be captured on canvas.

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