The demands of perceptual based painting are very different from the demands of more open-ended studio work. Large figurative paintings like those in The Lebowski Cycle can be in progress for years, and undergo significant revisions, but perceptually based paintings are more direct expressions, and the entire process of painting them is compressed into a very short period of time.
Trying to capture the specifics of an experience of a place, or of the presence of a person in one session forces you to really focus on what you want to capture in the painting, to make quick decisions and to jettison extraneous information.
Regardless of the quality of the finished work, I always remember a place that I have painted much more vividly having painted it than if I had just spent the day there as an onlooker. Interpretation demands engagement in a different way. Painting is a way of knowing.
Landscape painting also offers a counterpoint to the more solitary nature of studio painting. Yesterday, after spending all morning painting in the studio, the warm weather encouraged an afternoon run down to Newport Beach to paint at Crystal Cove. It seemed a shame to spend such an amazing day inside painting three figures in the interior of a bowling alley.