Until the mid-80s, I had not been adequately exposed to the long and extraordinary history of California plein air painting. At that time, I occasionally visited Palm Springs. One day I picked up the hotel-provided pen/writing paper and began sketching around the pool. Soon after, I began taking color pencils on trips and found that my drawings brought back truer memories than did photos.
When my husband and I purchased a house in Palm Desert, hiking became my favorite past-time. Packing and using color pencils was cumbersome, so I bought a pocket-sized watercolor kit. A friend gave me a Moleskin storyboard sketchbook which was a perfect size for my fanny pack. Sadly, the paper did not “take” watercolor. So I tried gouache and found it was perfect. I made a small gouache palette and now I have the joy of painting anywhere, at any time.”
D.J. Hall, 2014
“DJ Hall's signature works are brightly hued oils of glamorous women residing blissfully in sun-drenched Southern California. These paintings are in fact an outgrowth of her painful childhood.
While working assiduously on these large paintings, Hall has been engaging in personal sketchbook works that she collectively titles “Into Plein Air”. These pieces relate to her signature style with their vibrant coloration, attention to detail and, of course, those Southern California settings. Yet the sketchbook pieces differ in media, style, process and intent. These works on paper are painted with watercolor and and gouache, and executed quickly and impressionistically outdoors, on site.
These little gems are hands-on recording of the artist’s momentary experiences. Each work includes a written notation of the location, date, and personal descriptions of the sites. She explains that, while working for years on her figurative works, she has been attracted to plein air painting”
“Art Scene”, vol. 33, No.5
January 2014, p. 13 & 14