Sunday, January 31, 2010

Robin Popp - Guerrilla Painter

Here's a great definition of what it means to be a "Guerrilla Painter," from the description of a class by Robin Popp called "Guerrilla Warfare Oil Painting":

"Ready to attack your canvas? We will be painting landscapes in the field, taking no prisoners and leaving no one behind! Learn how to sneak up on a subject, explode it with color and contrast, and compose a killer painting. This is definitely a class targeted to the adventurous, intermediate oil painter. All levels are welcome, but prior drawing experience is recommended."

The class is being offered this spring (May 2-8) at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ron Rencher - Artist and Teacher

Plein Air Painters of America Signature Member Ron Rencher will be offering four plein air workshops during February, March and April. They will be in Scottsdale, Arizona; Catalina Island and San Diego County, California and San Antonio, Texas.

He teaches the student to paint with intent, that is to say, having a sound concept which will determine the direction of the painting. This will free up the creative forces that otherwise get tangled in painting "objects."

Ron graduated from Southern Utah State College with a BFA in 1975. During his college years and for eight years thereafter, he took on the responsibility of maintaining the family ranch, which was settled by his great-great grandfather in the 1860s.

He has been a member of the Plein Air Painters of America since 1998, converting to this style of painting after studying with artist Walter Zorns in 1984.

“I am not interested in the transcription of nature, but the translation of her essential truths. You must catch what’s important quickly and let go of the rest.”

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dawn Cohen - Large-Scale Plein Air

Dawn Cohen lives with her family at an altitude of almost 9,000 feet in the historic town of Crested Butte, Colorado, where she does large-scale plein air painting all year round, including when there are several feet of snow on the ground. The piece shown here, "The Best Ski Season, Ever" measures 36" by 44" and (like all her paintings) was painted entirely on-site.

"I pride myself on making large-scale paintings, where I return to the same painting spot day after day until it is complete. Working on-site with the constantly changing natural light requires focus and speed. It also takes commitment and discipline to brave the elements. I often paint in extremely cold Crested Butte weather and have to adorn myself with ski suits, gloves, hand and foot warmers and many layers of fleece. I do this because I love winter scenes. My eyes are drawn to a cluster of snow sliding off an old tin roof or to the way ice hangs onto a riverbank."

Dawn and her husband, Shaun Horne, who also does large-scale plein air paintings, have opened an art gallery in Crested Butte that features twelve plein air and landscape artists. Named for a nearby alpine valley, the gallery's name is Oh-Be-Joyful.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Marilynn Brandenburger - Artist & Teacher

Late last year, we had a visit from Marilynn Brandenburger, who has been painting, exhibiting and teaching art for more than 25 years. At the Spruill Center for the Arts in Atlanta, Georgia, she offers Beginning and Intermediate Drawing, Watercolor and Landscape Painting, and from time to time, she also teaches classes in Botanical Illustration, Colored Pencil, the Business of Art and other media such Oil Pastel.

She also teaches a class on Illustrated Journaling at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina.

Shown here is an ink and watercolor painting done at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, north of Denver.

She not only paints the landscape and botanical studies, but also still-lifes and interiors of rustic cabins, artist's studios and artisan's workshops.

"I am also entranced by the light on objects, particularly those objects that are part of the world I know best, the creative environment. My most recent still life painting series, "Studio Meditations," explores light and form in artists' studios. The first paintings in this series are poems dedicated to the lovely forms of pottery and paper. Subsequent paintings will be meditations on light and form found in and around the studios of woodworkers, papermakers, glassblowers, printmakers, etc., and other painters. I feel as if this is an exploration that will occupy the rest of my life."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Colin Page - Artist

When you think of Maine, you don't think of sunshine, but that is what you see in Colin Page's plein air paintings. There is an exhibit on view until January 30th at the Camden Public Library of paintings he has done in Camden, with proceeds to benefit the library.

All of his work is done on location. He will be offering plein air workships this spring and summer in Maine with an emphasis on paint handling, composition, color, drawing, and how to look more carefully.

In addition to landscapes, he also does still lifes, interiors and figures.

"The painting should look as though it breathes and has a life and presence of its own. All of my paintings are done almost entirely on site and are meant to capture the atmospheric feeling along with my own moods of each part of that day."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

International Plein Air Painters

The International Plein Air Painters organization was established in October 2001, and has as its only mission to promote painting on site outdoors. Its members include painters, students and benefactors, and it exists in sixteen countries including 41 of the 50 states.

They have always juried in new Signature Members between January 20-27, and they anticipate that 2010 will be the last year they will do it that way. After this, Signature Memberships will become available on a space vacated basis. When a current Signature Member leaves, it will open up one space.

Signature Member Status entitles an artist to use IPAP after his/her signature. It also includes a page hosted on the IPAP website with up to 10 images (which can be changed twice a year), CV, statement and link to the artist's own website. They also have a message board for members (not just Signature Members) and a blog where members are featured.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

James Coe - Artist

Landscape and wildlife painter James Coe started out as a bird illustrator, best known as the author and illustrator of the Golden Field Guide, Eastern Birds. He later did a guide to western birds, but the publisher was sold before the book was published. The illustrations are on view at his website.

He then turned to fine art with the idea of integrating his knowledge of wildlife as part of the landscape, while striving to maintain the freshness and vigorous brushwork of plein air. The painting shown here is an 8"x10" study of a heron and reflections.

He is scheduled to teach a plein air landscape workshop May 11-14 at the Academy Art Museum, Easton, Maryland.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Barbara Lussier - Artist

Connecticut artist Barbara Lussier paints outdoors year round and has many beautiful snow paintings to show for it. When else can you see bright red or golden willows next to blue-violet shadows in the snow? And there are some places you can only get to when the water is frozen over.

She considers herself to be within the tradition of the Old Lyme School and the Hudson River School of painters - honoring nature and working from direct observation.

Barbara is a signature member of New England Plein Air Painters, is elected to the Lyme Art Association, the Hudson Valley Art Association and the Rockport Art Association. She is also an award-winning member of the Academic Artists Association and the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Frank LaLumia - Artist & Teacher

Frank LaLumia is a teacher as well as an artist. His home page has a link to three demonstration videos, and he is offering four workshops this year. One is in watercolor (Bend, Oregon), one is in both oil and watercolor at his studio in Trinidad in southern Colorado, one is a Plein Air Painters of America Workshop and Seminar for oil painters in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and one is an oil painting workshop in Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin.

He has also written a book on plein air painting in oils and watercolor for North Light Publications, and there is a link to exerpts here.

He believes that painting from life is the great teacher. "One of the great Epiphanies on the Artistic Road is the Realization that we are painting Light, not things. We leave the comfort of our studios in an attempt to learn this lesson. If you can paint Light, you can paint anything under the sun."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Debra Huse - Plein Air Colorist

Plein air artist Debra Huse paints not only landscapes but also people, animals, architecture and boats. She has a studio/gallery on Balboa Island in Southern California and is teaching six workshops this year, three in Newport Beach, one in Orange County and two in Lodi, California.

Part of her artist's statement says, "Not painting is not an option."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Kenny Harris: A Month in Istanbul

Opening this evening at Koplin Del Rio Gallery in Culver City, Kenny Harris is showing plein air paintings from time spent recently in Istanbul, Turkey. There are not only cityscapes, street scenes and mosques, but also cloud studies and intriguing interiors.

After graduating cum laude from Colorado College in art and studying at Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy, Harris continued his studies at the Art Students League in New York City under Frank Mason, who died last June at the age of 88.

Harris was also a participant in the reality show "Art Race" in 2008, in which two artists traveled across the U.S. with only art materials and their talent to use in exchange for food, transportation and a place to stay. Not easy!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

James McGrew - Plein Air Naturalist

James McGrew's masters thesis was in Environmental Education (after earning degrees in biology, chemistry and geology), and his links page goes to sites like Frogweb, Hetch Hetchy, Sequoia, the National Park Service as well as art-related places.

The plein air painting shown here, entitled Ancient Couple, Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias is accompanied by a quote from Theodore Roosevelt: "I feel most emphatically that we should not turn into shingles a tree which was old when the first Egyptian conquerer penetrated to the valley of the Euphrates, which has taken so many years to be built up and which can be put to better use. That you may say is not looking at the matter from a practical standpoint. In the end, there is nothing more practical than the preservation of beauty; than the preservation of anything that appeals to the higher emotions of mankind."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gerald Fritzler - Watercolor Workshops

Watercolorist Gerald Fritzler has always been an artist. Growing up in Chicago, his early interest in drawing and painting was encouraged by his parents, and he attended the American Academy of Art where he was inspired by the well-known watercolor artist and instructor Irving Shapiro.

After working as an illustrator for four years, Fritzler made the leap to become a full-time watercolor artist. He moved to western Colorado, where he painted the Rocky Mountains and red rock canyon country.

In 1981, he was invited to join a group of artists exhibiting in Beijing and spent three weeks in "Red China" (which was a very closed country at the time). He's been traveling the world ever since, painting plein air in Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tahiti, Italy, Greece, Great Britain, Ireland, Poland, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Switzerland and Mexico as well as various locations in the United States.

He has three workshops coming up:
February 1-5 in Arizona at the Scottsdale Artists School
May 4-8 in Grand Junction, Colorado at the Western Colorado Center for the Arts
June 21-25 in Cheyenne, Wyoming at Laramie County Community College (This one has a free demo and reception).

You can see more of his paintings here.