plein air landscape painting
Painting From Life vs. From Photos

Posted by Karl Zipser

I made this painting in the summer of 1985, when I was sixteen years old. I painted it over the course of several mornings, standing on a dock in Woods Hole, Cape Cod. This is one of my first landscape paintings in oil.

I was able to do work like the above because I was part of a group of motivated students in the art class of Walter Bartman, a high school teacher in Bethesda, Maryland. “Mr. Bartman” inspires his students to believe in art. The picture above I made during the summer vacation, outside of Bartman’s art class. And yet his spirit was there with me on the dock.

Later that summer I made this painting of the Mall in Washington D.C., in Bartman’s summer landscape class. I was most pleased with this picture at the time, and I still think it is pretty good.

Walter Bartman had many outstanding young students during his teaching career at Walt Whitman high school (in a suburb of Washington D.C.) before he retired in 2001. An interview with Walter Bartman will appear soon here on Art & Perception.

Did you have a teacher who gave you a special inspiration for art?