I also discovered that unlike the images in my mind I usually paint, nature is a fickle subject! What you capture in the morning is entirely different palette in 2 hours. So with plein air you capture the moment as fast as you can and work quickly. You don’t have hours to play and fiddle with a colour because the sky is constantly moving and clouds don’t care if you wish they would stand still! Light that is shining on that tree this moment has changed it’s choice in an hour and a entirely different tree is now in the light!
Luckily,I still found it relaxing as it appears I have little desire for detail even when going for more realism. I am still more about the mood of the painting so my end results are still pretty easy and fluid.
Finding that I can do a more realistic landscape, if I so desire, has opened up an entirely different part of art to me. Nothing gives me the joy and pleasure of pure colour escapism that abstract painting does, but there is a certain amount of glorious satisfaction in painting Mother Nature and her colours. Now I get it! Now I see why others love it!
I suggest if you haven’t been out of your studio to paint, you try it! Challenge yourself and maybe you too will be delighted to find you have more inside you to paint!