Finding inspiration when in search of outdoor painting subject

I don't know about you, but I really get stoked on the freedom to go out and drive looking for a spot to paint.  The excitement of discovery and seeing something in the moment.  I don't know how else to describe it except that it fits the surfer in me looking for waves to ride.  Something is out there, I just need to wait a let it come to me naturally.  Both of these paintings are typical of being open to my surroundings and when the time is right, I set up and get painting.  Painting smaller and being more mobile allows for instantaneous decisions like trying to paint a setting sun over the harbor.  Forcing a spot to work for you and your painting usually makes for a bad painting and it turns painting into a chore.  It should be a passion.  Driven and determined to lock down with paint on canvas the visual emotions laid out before us.  I'm not interested in capturing exactly what I see, but rather how I feel about the moment and the surroundings I find myself in.



Doug Clarke is an award winning Plein Air and Studio painter based out of Virginia Beach. He works in oils creating plein air and studio paintings.

Graduating with Honors and Magna Cum Laude from Virginia Commonwealth University, Doug's work has evolved from commercial to fine art.  As an active member of the Norfolk Drawing Group, the painter strives for excellence in his figure drawings and paintings.  His commitment to life drawing and painting led him outdoors to paint "en plein air".  There he realized his passion for capturing light and nature in his own personal way.

Doug has been commissioned to paint both Harborfest and Neptune Festival posters for 2014.  Awards include 1st place awards for Plein Air 757,  Williamsburg Plein Air and the Plein Air Mount Lebanon quick draw competitions, as well as a three time winner of the Historic Fort Monroe Plein Air Exhibition.  His paintings are collected far and abroad internationally.  Doug’s work is currently represented by Harbor Gallery and the Ellen Moore Gallery.

In pursuit of mastering his craft, he has participates in local and national plein air events

When painting outdoors, Doug is very passionate about capturing the vanishing landscapes of Southeastern Virginia.