Monday, July 19, 2010

Our New Address

Head on over to our new address for the Plein Air Journal. Eventually, all the archives will be there, too.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Alfred Currier - Artist

Northwest painter Alfred Currier has been an artist for as long as he can remember. Plein air painting is his primary inspiration, though most of his gallery work has been done in studio. He focuses on vibrant color and a heavy impasto surface, often including architecture and figures in his compositions. Ted Lindberg's book about him, entitled Alfred Currier: Impasto, was dedicated to the Hispanic migrant workers from the tulip fields of the Skagit Valley that often appear in the paintings.

"As a painter, I'm more interested in the process of what I do more than the end product. Some painters are more interested in the end product than in the process. One might be a fine art painter and the other a commercial painter. The end products might look exactly the same from a viewer's standpoint. But, only the artist within knows whether or not it was fine art or not. It all has to do with process. It seems that art is primarily for the artist."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Catherine Moreno - Artist

Catherine Moreno is a Northern California painter who is inspired by landscapes, seascapes and the abstract patterns they create under the influence of light, shadow, close-ups and motion. Her paintings aren't all plein-air, but she spends plenty of time outdoors observing and sketching.

"Many of the subjects I work with cannot be done on the spot (as in the middle of a stream), so I use photographs with a self-imposed ethic that the painting must exceed the photo. The outdoors anywhere is my “studio”. I prefer oil painting because one can work on effects more freely in the moment and over time until something of impact is achieved."

The painting above, a 12x16 oil entitled Oak Reverie, displays these dramatic effects of color and contrast.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Crested Butte and Beaver Creek

Here are two reasons (besides cool mountain air) to head for the hills next month. One is the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters National Paint-Out and Show in Crested Butte, Colorado. More than forty well-known artists will be plein-air painting in the area from July 8-15. (This coincides with the annual Crested Butte Wild Flower Festival, which involves 4x4 tours, horseback rides, birding, wagon rides, float trips, hikes, yoga on the mountainside, garden tours, classes in photography, art, botanical medicine and cooking.) The art exhibit will open on Friday, July 16, from 5-8 p.m. at the Oh Be Joyful Gallery (named after a nearby valley). There will be a Quick-Draw on Saturday morning, and a silent auction of those works will begin at noon.

Then on the weekend of July 31-August 1 in Beaver Creek, Colorado, there will be a benefit screening of two films: Local Color and the video short, Legacy of the Russian Masters. All box office proceeds will fund programming at the non-profit Vilar Performing Arts Center, which will exhibit a collection of large Russian works (on display for the first time outside Russia) at a backstage reception. This event coincides with the 23rd Annual Beaver Creek Art Festival.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Adirondack Plein Air Festival

The second annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival will be held in the town of Saranac Lake, New York, on August 19-22. There will be a "Paint the Town" event, a silent auction and outdoor painting at various beautiful and historic locations. An exhibit and sale will follow on Sunday, August 22, from 12 - 4 p.m. Eight prizes will be awarded by juror Anne Diggory (below, at work).

From the days of the first explorers, artists have spent time in the Adirondacks. In 1837, the painter Charles Ingham accompanied Ebenezer Emmons on the first recorded ascent of Mt. Marcy. Artists of the Hudson River School, such as Thomas Cole, often painted scenes here. Later, in the 19th century, Winslow Homer focused on the interaction between people and nature. In the 20th century, both Harold Weston and Rockwell Kent lived and painted in the Adirondacks. Twenty-first century artists are also attracted to this region – and Saranac Lake is home to many of them.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Michelle Chrisman Workshops

Contemporary colorist Michelle Chrisman has two upcoming workshops and a free demonstration that will focus on plein air painting in New Mexico, where she moved after studying art in New York City and Denver.

Saturday, June 5, 1:00-3:00pm ~ Everything You Want to Know About Oil Painting at Artisan's Taos store. Admission is free, but space is limited so register today by calling 575-751-0802.

The weekend of July 17-18 ~ Two full days of painting en plein air. Enjoy painting historic, picturesque settings in Taos. All levels welcome. Contact the E.L. Blumenschein Home and Museum in Taos.

October 10-16 ~ Plein Air Painting in Georgia O'Keeffe Country will be based at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu. This course will cover the importance of simplification of shapes, correct color-values and light/shadow patterns to create well-designed compositions. Students will do two paintings per day. All levels & mediums welcome.

"What excites me most about painting is "seeing" the abstract shapes & patterns in the visual world. The medium of oil paint is also very important to me- letting the medium speak, and not being afraid of the calligraphy of impasto painting."
~ Michelle Chrisman
Below, Kitchen Mesa, 24x20, oil on canvas

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ninth Annual Paint San Clemente

This fun event is the main fundraiser for "Art Reach," benefiting San Clemente public schools art program (supplies and scholarships).

The quick-draw and plein air competition have all levels of artists joining in. The deadline for submitting your application is June 1st, and the event takes place June 19-26. The show will be on display through August 13th.

Click here for more information and a prospectus.

The above image is from artist Laura Wambsgans who was a participant in last year's event.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Travis Ivey - Wyoming Painter

We had a visit yesterday from Wyoming artist Travis Ivey. His website displays a combination of plein air studies and larger studio works, such as this one entitled Abandoned Dragline (Hanna, WY) (30x40 inches ).

As a fifth-generation Wyoming native, Travis sees both the beauty of the high plains pastures and the powerful contrasts that drilling rigs, freight trains, coal mines and gas fields provide. Old West, New West, boom and bust, subtlety and drama.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rockwater Art Center in Poulsbo, Washington

Across Puget Sound, west of Seattle, a beautiful 100 year old farmhouse has become an art center. The Rockwater Art Center will be offering more than a dozen classes this summer. Three are specifically about painting outdoors, and other classes, such as structural drawing, color mixing, etc. would also be relevant for plein air painters. This page lists all the classes & workshops.

Four of the prominent artists who will be teaching there this summer are Jim Lamb (plein air oils), Ron Stocke (plein air watercolor), Radena Walsh (pastels - plein air to studio) and Aleksandr Kargopoltsev (color mixing in oils).

Friday, May 21, 2010

George Coll - Llama Pack Trip Painter

Whew! It's been awhile. Combination of a trade show, a birthday party in Mississippi, one of us on vacation in Thailand and the sudden blossoming of sales has left this journal in the lurch. Until now.

Daily Painter George Coll stopped in this afternoon to pick up a few supplies. He not only belongs to the intrepid group known as Daily Painters (here is an online gallery) but also takes painting pack trips with his two llamas. There are places in the Rocky Mountains where horses & mules are prohibited because of the damage their hooves do to the trails, but llamas, with their soft feet, are allowed.

George started painting with watercolors in 1986 at the Denver Art Students League. In 1998, he focused on oil painting. When he asked his first oil painting instructor “how to get good quickly,” she said to paint from life whenever possible.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Painting Retreats

Nothing sounds like quite as much fun as a "painter's retreat." Not a workshop, not a vacation, it's rather a combination of focus and freedom. Here are several that are available this season:

The Omega Institute is offering an Autumn Painter's Retreat focusing on Hudson Valley watercolor landscapes with Fulbright scholar, professional artist and muralist Alan Leon. This is peak fall foliage season.

New Mexico expressionist/plein air painter Louisa McElwain is offering demos, critiques, information and encouragement to artists who visit her property near Santa Fe. Subject matter ranges from spectacular mountain and badlands terrain to churches, villages and her farm with its orchard, pastures, gardens, horses, cattle and poultry. Stay in an historic log house, complete with antique wood burning range, Satellite TV and internet.

In November, Open Air Italy invites you to Tuscany for the olive harvest. Take some new oil home with you. There are only four remaining spaces for this trip.

You've heard of heli-skiing, now you can go heli-hiking with your painting gear in southeastern British Columbia. Canadian Mountain Holidays is making this trip available from August 31 - September 5.

Or you can hike in Italy's Sibillini Mountains, participating in a combination of studio time, walking, sketching, excursions and a visit to the Fabriano Paper Museum. This trip takes place October 9-16.

Karl Eric Leitzel will host "Finding Your Voice - A Painter's Retreat" at the Inn On the Sky in Spring Mills, Pennsylvania this summer.

Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Marin Arts Open Studios & Festival

Throughout Marin County in Northern California, there will be a free, self-guided Open Studios Tour during the first two weekends in May.

More than three hundred artists will have their studios open (most for both weekends), and tens of thousands of people will make the tour. There are about sixty plein air painters involved.

The Marin Arts Council will display work from each artist at its new location, 906 4th Street, San Rafael. The exhibit runs from April 25 through May 23.

In addition to paintings, the event features sculpture, fiber, furniture, jewelry, weaving, metalwork, stained glass, photography, pottery and etchings. A related gallery exhibit will also be located at 888 4th Street, San Rafael.

The painting shown in the poster, above, is Mount Tamalpais from Lucas Valley by Kathleen Lipinski.