March 14, 2012

Spring is Here!

Things are starting to bloom here in Pennsylvania, its very exciting to get our first taste of good weather. I'm doubly excited because I have two beautiful plein air easels and plan to do a lot of outdoor painting. Its a bit strange to work outdoors if you are used to working in a studio setting but once you figure out an organization method that works for you, its really enjoyable. Mitchell Albala's book is full of good advice for those of you looking to get started with plein air.

Here are a few quick tips from my own experience:

- Start with a location close to home.
Paint a scene from your backyard. This will allow you to feel a little more comfortable and having your studio close by ensures that if you forget something its within easy reach.

- Bring water

- Don't bring your whole studio.
The more you have to carry the more awkward the whole experience will be. Try to really limit your supplies and set everything up as much as possible before packing.

-Keep a list.
List the things that you are going to bring and afterwards things that you wish you had brought. This way the same mistake is not made twice.

-Bring a camera.
Two reasons for this one, it allows you (if its digital) to see a fresh perspective of you work and mother nature does not stay still, which means if you fall in love with the early morning light and want to capture it in your painting taking a picture will ensure that you at least have a reference point to work from at twelve noon or later on in the studio.

- Smaller canvas.
Not the time to whip out that 50"x70" lovely that you've been waiting to play with. (Unless of course you work really really fast)

-Just Do It!

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