Landscape has always been one of Dorothy “Dottie” Hoeschen’s favorite subjects. Maybe it was inevitable that she would turn to plein air painting, where the artist paints outdoors within reach of, and sometimes among their composition.
For painters accustomed to the cozy confines of their studios, it can be a sharp contrast. Strong breezes blow canvases to the ground, bitter cold numbs the fingers, and curious passersby break fragile concentration. Not to mention the race against fleeting light.
It was a contrast for Hoeschen, who resides in Riegelsville, but she quickly adapted. She loves being outside and challenging herself as an artist. That’s how she arrived at plein air painting in the first place: she was trying to jog herself from a rut. “I felt like my work was getting stale,” she says.
Over the 10 years since her first plein air painting, Hoeschen has immersed herself in the method, frequently painting in regional plein air shows and in virtually every type of weather.
Hoeschen and several painter friends have often grabbed their supplies and “roamed” through the park until they found a spot that inspired them. For Hoeschen, that usually means somewhere where the sunlight lands just so.
Sometimes she likes the way a building fits into a broader composition. The Thompson-Neely House and Farmstead is one of her favorite places in the park because “every which way you turn there, there’s something to paint,” Hoeschen says with a pleasant Southern drawl, a remnant from growing up in Georgia.
But more often than not, she favors landscapes. She describes her style as “maybe contemporary impressionism.” Hoeschen has always preferred experimentation over mastery, but “over the pandemic, since most of the art shows that I usually participate in have been cancelled, I’ve been moving between mediums even more than I normally would,” she says.
Lately, she’s been exploring abstract painting and digital art. “But I keep coming back to landscapes and light,” she adds.
To learn more, visit Dottie Hoeschen’s website.