Plein air painting is not always practical.
I take a lot of photos to help inspire me when I must work in my studio instead of outside. Weather, time constraints, how I'm feeling and the painting subject, can all contribute to the need to stay indoors. This photo I took in my flower garden was the perfect motivator for a day in my studio. To help give it some life and to help me feel more like I was sitting outdoors, I viewed the photo on my computer monitor while I sketched and painted. For me it enhances the colors and lighting, giving it much more depth than a flat photo. And unlike a static print, I can zoom in on details much like sitting closer to a real subject outdoors.