PDA

View Full Version : Plein Air Tips


LDianeJohnson
01-25-2001, 12:43 PM
Thought this would be a good place to start a thread of plein air painting and equipment tips especially with Spring coming...

I found a great buy today for anyone using prochade boxes on a tripod. For $20, the SILK U2000 tripod is onl 18" long and a mere 2.25 lbs! It does not have a removable mount, but that's more of an inconvenience than a real problem.

I've been using a heavy-duty model which is lasting forever, but is cumbersome on long trips. I am tall, and this SILK model is shorter than normal for camera work, but for painting is the perfect height when fully extended.

Diane

------------------
2001 L. Diane Johnson Plein Air Workshops (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/workshops)

LDianeJohnson
01-25-2001, 02:00 PM
That's some good stuff Linda! I hope this will be a fun and enlightening thread.

Gisele, watercolor is perhaps the easiest, most portable, and economical means of painting en plein air. You can take a pack as tiny as you like -- to fit in a pocket, or work on a larger scale. or any size in between. I am sure some of our watercolor friends will have great suggestions. Do give it a try http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif !

One trick to breaking into outdoor painting, is to just stand inside your own home and paint something outside, live, through the window. Then work your way to the field.

Diane

JeffG
01-25-2001, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by blondheim12:
...Also, don't forget to bring your biz cards and a small portfolio. I often have people stop and chat.
Linda


I had someone bring me an armload of sweetcorn last summer http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif



------------------
Jeff G.

paintfool
01-25-2001, 07:24 PM
I use a very lightwieght aluminum Stanrite easel for Plein air and bring a lightwieght tv tray. I've learned that less is best & no longer bring fifty brushes and tons of mediums that i don't use. One of the things that can be a problem in Florida (especially in the summer) is gugs. Little tiny knat like things that seem to love the paint. I used to have to wait for the painting to dry & pick them off http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/frown.gif. Not a good thing. I now carry a can of insecticide. I spray newspaper with it and tape it to the back of the canvas. Since i used prestretched canvas it's easily done by taping it to the wooden frame without contaminating the actual surface (or back). I also spray the legs of the easel. I haven't had a problem since. Great thread Diane!
Cheryl

------------------
paintfool

LDianeJohnson
01-25-2001, 07:59 PM
Hi Cheryl,

Thanks for discussing the little subject of "bugs!" It is not talked about much, but insects, reptiles and the like can cause havoc for the painter. Fortunately, I have only had occasionial problems with bees or flies. Other than that, no difficulty. Your solution of spraying paper attaching to the painting to is so good! I never heard of a "gug". Is that like a nat, or bigger ??

Thanks
Diane

paintfool
01-25-2001, 08:18 PM
Originally posted by Artistry:
I never heard of a "gug". Is that like a nat, or bigger ??
Thanks
Diane
LOL! It's a nasty little critter that can cause one to lose all control of the fingers on any keyboard. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
Cheryl




------------------
paintfool

LDianeJohnson
01-25-2001, 08:24 PM
Yikes! That sounds rough http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

blondheim12
01-26-2001, 01:20 AM
A great idea for a thread. I always carry C clamps and duct tape with me in case there is a problem with wind or equipment breaking. I use equipment that is as old as the dinosaurs so I never know when my easel or table will collapse. Also, don't forget to bring your biz cards and a small portfolio. I often have people stop and chat.
Linda

------------------
www.lindablondheim.com (http://www.lindablondheim.com)

Gisele
01-26-2001, 01:30 AM
I'm glad you brought that up.I have never painted in plein air before but would like to try.I do mostly watercolors but I imagine it is too much trouble in plein air...drawing sounds easier.Less stuff to carry.
Looking forward to reading more advice on that!
Thanks!
Gisele

4vincent
01-26-2001, 10:24 AM
Nice idea, Diane. Have you tried that Silk easel with pastel? I use a full size french easel, but am thinking of going to half size for the less weight; as per Larry's comments.
(By the way, "bluesman" I checked out the mp3's; you blow a mean harmonica...have to tell Bonnie the next time I see her!)
(sorry, I drifted) I usually affix my pastel tray to my french easel drawer;and with my bag of goodies, its all I need.

..Can't forget the insecticide; I remember down in Orlando, Cheryl, where they have those "love-gugs"! Ken http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/wink.gif

LDianeJohnson
01-26-2001, 12:01 PM
Ken,

No, I have not yet tried the SILK with pastels. I will probably try using my OpenM box mounted on the tripod first. A standard French easel always works well, but you are right...they're heavy. And carrying pastels can be heavy depending on how many sticks you use in the field. I tend to use a fairly heavy stroke when working in pastel and find a French stands up to the task. If you go down to a half size box it will certainly cut down on the weight as well as space.

Diane

------------------
2001 L. Diane Johnson Plein Air Workshops (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/workshops)

gill
01-26-2001, 03:47 PM
Before I go outdoors painting I usually get everything together inside as though I was going to paint. Then I know that I have everything. I have gone places to paint and forgotten about everything at least once. Not much fun without a pallet or canvas. The bad part is that I am pretty organized but just get in a hurry to get out there before the phone rings or something.
gill

LDianeJohnson
01-26-2001, 04:11 PM
Gill,
That's a good suggestion. So many times I have rushed out and forgotten something. Once you get your plein air system down, it's even helpful to create a checklist to refer to before going out. I often repack my paint and equipment as soon as I come in from the field. That way everything's always ready at a moment's notice.
Diane

------------------
2001 L. Diane Johnson Plein Air Workshops (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/workshops)

Marilee
01-26-2001, 08:49 PM
Diane - I have just started plein air painting this last year and a half and now I have a difficult time painting in studio. I live in So Ca so the weather's pretty good all the time. I go out once or twice a week depending on my schedule ( I'm a sculptor and work 1 or 2 days for a temp agency). I just sold one of my paintings at an exhibit of my scupltures and paintings. Where do you get the SILK tripod? And have you tried the ones that have wheels?
Marilee

colinbarclay
01-27-2001, 05:10 AM
Hi,
I always bring a peice of rope too - when its windy you can suspend a rock from the underside of the notoriously tippy french easel . Really helps on windy days at Mt Desert !
Colin

------------------
"Outside a dog a book is a man's best friend. Inside a dog it is too dark
to read." Groucho

oleCC
01-27-2001, 05:57 AM
Diane.... as you know, our beach getaway was my first serious attempt at plein aire. I have only tried a couple of times since, but just didn't feel as comfortable. Hopefully when the weather changes to warm, I'll get to go again. I use one of those grocery (stand up type) carriers on two wheels.. so nice and compact and holds everything snug http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
Carol

------------------
http://www.artistnation.com/members/lofts/olecc

blondheim12
01-27-2001, 08:46 AM
I also carry a concrete filled pvc pipe with a hook on it and bungie cord to weight down my easel. Diane, your suggestion on packing was good. I found two large, shoebox sized rubber containers that have handles. I put paint and glass pallette in one, mediums and brushes in the other, a tote bag for canvases and misc. If I am painting two days in a row, the rubber boxes can be left in the back of my truck as they are waterproof. If I am studio painting, I just leave all the stuff in the boxes next to my easel.
Linda

------------------
www.lindablondheim.com (http://www.lindablondheim.com)

[This message has been edited by blondheim12 (edited January 27, 2001).]

LDianeJohnson
01-27-2001, 03:49 PM
This is becoming quite the thread! I am excited that you all are exchanging ideas and experiences so we can try new, efficient ways of solving technical issues, or gain the courage to paint en plein air, perhaps for for the first time!

In response to some of your comments n' questions:

Marilee:
You are so fortunate to have a year-round place to paint. CA is a great place with so much subject matter and visual inspiration. Congratulations on your sale! You can purchase the tripod at any good photo supply store. Or, you can mail order it through any of many discount photo supply houses. 47th St Photo in NYC is a good one. No, I haven't tried the tripod on wheels. I usually put everything into one rolling suitcase to protect from the weather and for carrying on airplanes.

Colin:
Good suggestion with the rock & rope. When deciding on equipment for open air painting I sometimes forget the weather, breezes, rain and the like.

Carol:
I have been eyeing those carts. They are flexible, lightweight and if they get broken, no great loss, they are inexpensive.

Linda:
The rubber containers are good. There are so many things to try. Tackle, make-up and, tote, lunch and other boxes, come in every size and shape. When I shop for a new box or supply holder, I take all my supplies with me, sit in the isle at the store then test to see which configuration works best.

Every year it seems, I pack smaller and smaller. It's always a challenge to see how little I need to take to make my painting time more enjoyable.

Keep those tips and painting wisdom coming!
Diane

djstar
01-28-2001, 12:23 AM
If you saw my FIRST posting from Monday, you know I am a rank outdoor amateur.
The really unexpected and wonderful part of it all was not the art, but the peanut gallery.
I was unaware while I painted, but when I turned around to face the parking lot, there was a guy, who had stopped and said hi, sitting there watching us.
I felt so good, getting the passerbys comments (all good) and funnily enough, a friend saw the picture this week and said it was the view from her home! She said she DID see us, but since there are quite a few artists out on occasion, she never took note.
I like the idea of bring a bunch of business cards...JUST in case.
So you say I need to bunjee myself to the easel....
not QUITE yet, but soon no doubt!
dj*

bruin70
01-28-2001, 02:33 AM
dj,,,,bring duct tape to tape the easel to the earth.....{M}

------------------
"it's alright to be judgmental,,,,,,,,if you have taste"...MILT

paintfool
01-28-2001, 02:34 PM
Yes do bring business cards! I painted plein air yesterday and had several poeple stop to look and talk. I made two contacts that could lead to commissions but had to exchange numbers on paper. BTW, Milts all about the duct tape latley! He told me to duct tape a water color painting to the nose of a plane! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif
Wind is a common problem in my area at times and although there have been great tips here, there are times when it's simply not a good idea to plein air. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/frown.gif I did one last year that eventually ended up wet side down on the grass! Although it lended a certainly 'reality' to the piece http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif i decided to know the limits in the future. If you don't mind a little dirt on the feet of your easel you can always dig three small holes in the ground and stick the legs in a couple of inches.
Cheryl

------------------
paintfool

LDianeJohnson
01-28-2001, 02:47 PM
And don't forget to pack the food bars and water...feeding the artist is a must.

paintfool
01-29-2001, 12:14 AM
Originally posted by Artistry:
And don't forget to pack the food bars and water...feeding the artist is a must.
Yep! I take water, bananas and reeses peanut butter cups. These are a MUST and should never be forgotten!
Cheryl



------------------
paintfool

Marilee
01-30-2001, 12:44 AM
When I first started painting outdoors I was very self conscious. I thought people would be critical of what I was doing especially in the blocking out stage. But I soon found out that they always say something nice-even when you are just starting. I get a kick out of them saying "oh that is beautiful" and all I have on my canvas are blobs of color!

Eliz
01-30-2001, 01:36 AM
My favorite comment was when I was painting just off a popular hiking trail. As a family with two little kids walked by, the mom pointed me out, "Look kids, it's a real artist!"

The lightest I've managed to trim my painting kit (watercolor), was for a backpacking trip last summer. Everything, including a 5x7 watercolor pad, fit into a quart size ziplock freezer bag. I made my own dry paint set by squeezing a bit of each color onto a tiny plastic pallet and letting it dry in the sun. Since the paper was so small, I didn't need much of each color. And I actually got alot of pictures I'm really happy with from that trip!

Marilee
02-23-2001, 09:38 PM
It looks as if there hasn't been much action here for a while, but I wonder if any one has used the Studio Pack for a french easle? I have been going into the state parks where you need to hike a ways and my luggage carrier that I always use keeps falling over on the rough trail. The pack will only carry the easel but what about the wet paintings? Right now I can put the small ones on the easel facing in to carry to my car, but how does that work in the Studio Pack?
Marilee

Rosemarie Lütken
02-26-2001, 03:42 PM
Hello everyone!
Diane, what is a prochade box? (English isn't my native language.)
I am just trying to modify my old tripod to some kind of easel for plain air painting, and I am exploring how to modify it for watercolor painting.

Is there anyone who can help me with the details?


------------------
Rosemarie

LDianeJohnson
02-26-2001, 04:06 PM
Hi Rosemarie

Welcome to WetCanvas and for your first post to this forum!

A "pochade" box is technically a compact artist's easel, palette and paint box combined for plein air painters and artists who travel and paint or sketch.

There are many, many kinds and designs at very high or low prices. Here are some web sites that show what they look like:

http://openboxm.com/
http://www.pochade.com/box/

You can of course make your own as well. Many of us here at WetCanvas have. Here is a box I made from a case I purchased at a drug store:
http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/paintkit.html

And Larry Seilier has made them as well. There are a several posts to check that he has written. He also posted this address of how to make one yourself:
http://people.ne.mediaone.net/jcle/index.html#pochade

You can add a small box to your tripod that is light weight and easy to carry.
Hope this information helps you http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

Diane


------------------
L. Diane Johnson (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/) NAPA, PSA
Plein Air Workshops (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/workshops/)

[This message has been edited by Artistry (edited February 26, 2001).]

eyeburp
03-05-2001, 07:16 AM
I'm going on vacation soon and have been thinking of taking my french easel (half box). I was concerned about carrying it on to the plane. Has anyone had any problems doing that? Does anyone have any tips on taking a french easel on a plane? Thanks.

Robert
03-05-2001, 08:05 AM
French easel on plane? Take it carry-on for sure. Depending on the airport you go through, you'll have little to no trouble if you don't have any solvents inside. You can pack all the paint and brushes that will fit. Try to secure the brushes with foam rubber or tape. At worst, security will ask you to open it up and they'll read the labels on all the paint tubes (they did that to me in Charlotte). At best, you can just run it through the carry on belt and be on your way.

LDianeJohnson
03-05-2001, 08:24 AM
Depending on the size of your easel, and its fragiity, carrying it on is a good way to take it. However, you can also purchase a good rolling suitcase, line it with thick foam and check the bag in. Either way, I have never had a problem. I hope you won't experience any either.

taxed
03-13-2001, 08:55 PM
Robert...I thought you could only take carry on luggage that would fit under your plane seat! I've got to find out about this.
Thanks for posting this....

Robert
03-13-2001, 09:34 PM
I took a full size Julian easel with me to Texas in February. Stored it above - no problem.

Regards,

Bob

paintfool
03-13-2001, 11:53 PM
The easel itself should not pose a problem, but you may want to check with the airline about the paint. Some of them have a problem with carrying oil paints onto the plane because they are considered hazardous material. Better to call ahead and find out than to encounter this problem at the airport.
Cheryl

------------------
paintfool

LDianeJohnson
06-11-2001, 05:24 PM
Hi Jerry,

No, I have not heard of this particular easel but would love to take a look at one. Could you post a picture of the easel and tell me where you purchased it? Were you able to get it locally or mail order?

Thanks for the tip! Any time anyone finds something new (or old) that improves streamlining for plein air painting please post your discoveries.

This one sounds great particularly for windy areas, which a is common issue when painting outside.

Diane

------------------
L. Diane Johnson (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/) NAPA, PSA
2001/2002 Plein Air Workshops (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/workshops/)

Reye
06-12-2001, 01:52 AM
Diane
Have you ever tried a Gloucester Easel, known as an Anderson Easel in the last century in Europe? I just acquired one and it is super stable and convenient. Some of the Bucks County Plein Aire artists use them - great for windy areas. Easy to set up etc.,...
Jerry
[email protected]

Reye
06-12-2001, 12:08 PM
Diane
Rather than sound commercial here..I sent you an e-mail regarding the easel. For anyone interested though they should contact the builder directly...I do not have a financial interest and do not want to sound as if I am advertising....but I will be glad to pass along comments. The builders e-mail is <[email protected]>
His address is Tobin Nadeau, 259 Tonset Rd., Orleans, MA 02653. Let me know if I can help.
Jerry

Reye
06-12-2001, 12:30 PM
For some reason the e-mail address did not come up in the above but [email protected]
for the easel.
Jerry

[This message has been edited by Reye (edited June 12, 2001).]

LDianeJohnson
06-13-2001, 07:06 AM
Jerry,

Many thanks for the email & address. I will write the company when I return from my trip...leaving for France today to instruct in Monet's garden. The box sounds really nice. No problem with "advertising" we're swapping information here so it's very much "ok"!

Catch you when I get back!

Diane

------------------
L. Diane Johnson (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/) NAPA, PSA
2001/2002 Plein Air Workshops (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/workshops/)

Geeky2
06-19-2001, 01:13 PM
Hi everyone:
Someone recently asked about converting a tripod to an easel. These comments were in a discussion on CJAS board last summer, by me and others. Hope it helps someone.

(Will) " I make a 3" disc of 1/4" aluminum plate or, lighter yet, 1/4" Sintra plastic sheet.(See local industrial plastic vendor in yellow pages)
Tap a 1/4-20 hole dead center and use double back carpet tape to attach adapter disc to foam board. Works like a charm. When the foam board wears out, pull off the adapter disc, remove the tape, apply new and adhere to a new piece of foam board. It travels well and can take some weather too! I think the SLIK 7000 is the best portable tripod for our purposes. $29.95 at camera stores. "

Some people use plexiglass, masonite, or any type board to fasten their adaptor and painting material.

ldallen
06-19-2001, 05:19 PM
Originally posted by paintfool

LOL! It's a nasty little critter that can cause one to lose all control of the fingers on any keyboard. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
Cheryl




------------------
paintfool

Hi Cheryl -

Which is why I photograph what I want to paint. I live in Florida, too, and know exactly what you mean. :rolleyes::) :)

Marilee
06-24-2001, 02:59 AM
A while ago I posted a question about the Studio Pak backpack for easels. I didn't get a reply. I went out and bought one anyway - not the full backpack but the one with straps. Is it great! I strap the easel in - it has a couple of pouches to go with it - and I can hike any where I want to in search of new places to paint. It is very comfortable to wear. I have seen one other person so far to have one.
Marilee

bbbilly1326
06-26-2001, 10:30 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by colinbarclay
[B] Hi,
I always bring a peice of rope too - when its windy you can suspend a rock from the underside of the notoriously tippy french easel . Really helps on windy days at Mt Desert !
Colin

If you carry a gallon Chlorox jug, the kind with the ring handle, filled with water in the trunk of the car, and a piece of rope or heavy string, you'll always have a weight for your easel. If you're doing watercolor, it can serve as a large supply of water.

Bill

TPS
06-26-2001, 03:34 PM
"notoriously tippy French easel"?? Strange description for the easel with the best reputation for being stable. I've had my full size Jullian French easel for over twenty years, and have never had any stability problems with it; even in mountainous, windy, and other adverse conditions.

paintfool
06-26-2001, 03:42 PM
Marilee, I'm sorry you never got an answer to your question about the back packs. I must have missed that one. :( Where did you get it? Do you mind if i ask how much you paid for it? I've seen them in catalogues. They were fairly expensive. But worth it, i'm sure!
Cheryl

Patrick
07-01-2001, 01:11 PM
What agreat read. Thanx all.
A couple things I want to add.
BUGS! A lot of insects are attracted to certain colors (I got this from Boy Scouts as a kid) such as bees and wasps seem to like pale blue. I try to wear white or tan shirts when painting out doors and seems to keep the critters at a minimum. When painting at St Elmo recently, being in a vacation mode, I was wearing a nice little number with red and blue palm trees on it and my pink ball cap. The humming birds thought this was great. It was like being a goulie at a dart tournament.
Oh and the traveling with french easels thing. I hauled mine in the overhead to Mexico without any problem. My main concern in checking it in was if it were lost one of my dearest friends(I got the easel nearly 25 years ago) would have been gone.

Rosebud
07-02-2001, 10:21 AM
Funniest question while painting plein air:

When I was putting the finishing touches on a watercolor(mountain-barn-meadow scene) I was spattering some color on the foreground with an old toothbrush.
An interested on-looker asked me: "Did you paint the whole thing with a toothbrush ?"
And I think they were really serious !!

LOL LOL LOL:D

Rose

Leaflin
07-11-2001, 03:24 PM
This has been a wonderfully informative thread.
Patrick, bees and wasps just can't seem to get enough of me. Now I know why. My favorite colour is light blue.:)

Marilee
07-12-2001, 01:46 PM
Paintfool - I bought the Studiopak at a local art store. I tried one on with an easel to see how comfortable it was. It was about $30-35 at this particular store. I have only seen one other person use one around here. The one I have is the one with the straps and you can carry a canvas on your easel - wet or dry- at the same time. I have been going on beaches and into the wilderness and a cart or luggage carrier does not do well in these places. You can also attach items to the straps with Get-A-Grip straps. I'm trying to condense everything so when I go into these areas I will be comfortable.
Marilee:D

turtle
07-12-2001, 07:50 PM
Hi,
I'm new to the forum. I've been doing pastels out and about for a short time and I'm working up the nerve to cart all my oil gear out. Until I logged on here I'd never heard of the term plein air and I feel sort of ignorant about it. Where did this term come from and why is it so prevalent? Does anyone know? Just curious.

Dave Carter
07-13-2001, 12:26 PM
I have seen some handy looking kits built on thrift store golf carts with attached boxes and bags, even beach chairs. These carts have a wide wheelbase and are good for moderate terrain such as golf courses!

TPS
07-13-2001, 02:30 PM
Turtle: So far as I know, en plein air is a French term for "open air" or "in the plain air". Meaning to paint outdoors on site in front of your subject. Believe it was a term used to describe the way the Impressionists painted. This method of working has become popular of late. Although painting from life is a basic way to work, using this term seems to be in vogue now.

The original language terminology seems to add an air of authenticity to many art processes. French and Italian phrases seem to be the favorites. Guess it's an "art thing". LOL

Hope this helps.

TPS
07-13-2001, 02:55 PM
Suggestions for clothing when painting en plein air:

1)Wear loose fitting clothes for ease of movement and added insulation during cool times.
2)Dress in layers so you can adjust based on temperature.
3)Wear drab or darkish colors. Bright or light colors will reflect onto your painting surface and effect how your painting appears in color and value. Some bright colors will attract critters.
4)Use a wide brimmed hat to shade your eyes. Ventilated in summer and insulated in winter. 50% of your body heat exits from the top of your head.
4a)Never wear sunglasses. They dilate your pupils thus changing your perception of values, they skew colors, and the wide open pupil admits harmful uv rays (uv coatings don't help).
5)Take a wind breaker or light poncho in case of inclement weather. An insulated jacket in winter.
6)Where comfortable high top shoes or boots for getting into those out of the way places.
7)Good quality sox; wool will repel water, good cotton will cool.
8)Cotton or wool gloves with the fingers cut out in the winter. Perhaps some of those chemical handwarmers for your pockets.
9)A scarf or jacket with a hood to protect your neck in the winter.
10)Not technically clothing but, sunscreen and bugscreen will complete your protection.

Being comfortable and prepared for your outing will make your painting experience much more enjoyable and successful.

brendahofreiter
07-23-2001, 11:08 AM
I've been painting en plein air for 3 years in Central Florida. Over the years, I have gathered more and more painting gear. I often have to hike miles to get to the perfect painting spot. Every year I sware I am going to pare it down...maybe a half french easel?Currently, I am using a luggage carrier with my stool, small tv-type table, french easel and attached canvas strapped onto the carrier with bungies. I also am forced to carry a beach umbrella for shade in the tropical heat, trust me it is worth the haul. I have a carrier for it and I just sling it over my shoulder. It is blue and does effect the colors slightly, but it hasn't bothered me. I also have to carry lots of water to drink. I tried the backpack, but my gear was too heavy for me to comfortably carry the required distance. Putting some padding on the handle of the carrier helped my hands. I have only had it tump over once and that was when I was trying to get it across a large ditch. I know lighter is better, but I am old and like my comforts. It is hard enough fighting the elements and the @#$%%% love bugs which we are inundated with twice a year. I have to pick them out of my paint. I have considered letting them paint a few patches since they are already covered with paint, but they can't seem to do more than wiggle around.

Brenda

Maria Gusta
08-07-2001, 02:45 AM
What a great thread!!!

I am going to work up to this by painting in my backyard, then on my own street or in a local park...

I hope to see more posts here on: tips and tricks; locales (what worked and what was a Bad Idea); equipment you consider vital and what you leave behind; time management; how YOU deal with changing light, wind and weather; the audience factor; what you love, what you hate, annecdotes, etc.

Here's one question, since not all of my work can really be called landscapes... what would you call non-studio indoor work? And if the weather was wretched and you wanted to get out of the studio - where would YOU go?

LDianeJohnson
08-07-2001, 09:50 AM
Maria,

Here's my take on what to call paintings & works:

"Plein Air Paintings":
- Generally landscapes, portraits, architecture painted live started and finished out of doors, on location.

"Paintings painted En Plein Air, finished in the Studio":
- Same as above but finished in the studio from memory or photo references. These should be identified as such.

"Studio Works":
- Portraits, still-life, or any other subjects done indoors including landscapes (from memory or photo/transparency references).

"Studio Works from Life":
- Portraits, still-life, or any other subjects done indoors including landscapes that are done from live setups and not from any photo references.

In answer to your question:
And if the weather was wretched and you wanted to get out of the studio - where would YOU go?

You could go under a carport, garage, to a park with a picnic shelter, park in your car, stand under an awning at a store, from a restaurant, on a gazebo, at the mouth of a cave, on a protected porch and paint. Or, if you have a protected porch and do still-life or portraits, do them outside but under roof. Or, if you want to "get out of the studio" sometimes I just go for a cup of coffee :)

I'll write more later on your other great questions...

Diane

Wally's Mom
08-07-2001, 02:41 PM
O.K. I've caught the plein aire bug from you-all. But since I live in coastal SC, and can't stand the heat and humidity, I have a month or so, to think about what my list of essentials will include, and figure out how to transport them.

The first question that comes to mind (after reading this thread, and learning alot) is How many colors do you travel with ? Do you use the same selection as at home, or do you limit yourself to 6, 10, 12 etc ? Do you adjust the colors you take based on where you will be painting ?

What about brushes ?

Thanks you-all

LDianeJohnson
08-07-2001, 02:54 PM
Hi Wally's Mom,

Welcome aboard the "plein air" train! Caught the bug? Great. Here are a few suggestions for you.

1. I'm in NC and it is sweltering here too. But you'll have a great fall, winter and spring of painting!

2. Pack light, and for your first excursion pack with as few colors as possible. There will be less time to paint so you want to take essential colors. Once you get your feet wet, you can add more tubes. I suggest white plus six colors: a warm and cool of each of red, yellow and blue. That's it.

3. Also pack just a few brushes. Depending on the size you are painting, take your favorite brushes a large one, a medium and a medium-small. Take small brushes the second time you go out. This will force you to stay loose and not be tempted to do too much detail too soon. Work large to small, least amount of detail to most.

4. Look at the first trip as exploratory, fun and and adventure. Don't pressure yourself to "perform". Just enjoy yourself, observe and do more painted sketches on your first tries. It will only get easier and more fun the more you do it.

Diane

TPS
08-08-2001, 02:46 AM
Here's my setup while painting on location.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Aug-2001/dj2.jpg

A full size French easel, a home made foldup palette, leak proof solvent container. I carry the easel (holds paints, brushes, clips, and painting panels) and a back pack which holds the palette, solvent container, boxed tissue (instead of rags or paper towels), insect repellent, drinking water, extra paint, trash bags, poncho, etc. Notice the wide brim hat; sometimes I attach an umbrella to the easel.

With pack on back, and easel in hand I can go most anywhere. Would like to have a half box easel for those long treks though.

Marilee
09-08-2001, 09:06 PM
Diane - I know alot of professional artists(who command more that $1000 per painting) that paint plein air and finish their paintings in the studio. They call them Plein Air and not just paintings. Some of them are the top names in the business.

Marilee

Marilee
09-08-2001, 09:09 PM
Maria - Come join us for your first painting excursion. I am in Newport Beach,Ca and there are several groups that go out on a regular basis. I went out with 4 others for my first time and it was not so intimidating. I go out at least 2-3 times a week.
Marilee

LDianeJohnson
09-08-2001, 09:48 PM
Marilee,

You are absolutely correct. Many artists label their work as a "plein air painting" when the bulk of a piece was completed in the studio. Or, when it is labeled as "plein air" when the artist has merely done sketches in the field but create a full piece in the studio.

This is a problem. To be honest, one must label paintings that are truly done on site as "plein air", and studio pieces as either "a painting of" or "studio painting of" or "from such and such a location."

The public is confused enough as it is with media, surfaces, limited-editions, and the like, and the more authentic we can be as individual artists (equates to integrity) regarding our originals the better it is for all, and for our individual legacy.

Diane

Maria Gusta
09-09-2001, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by Artistry

{to Maria Gusta}:
Here's my take on what to call paintings & works:
"Plein Air Paintings": - Generally landscapes, portraits, architecture painted live started and finished out of doors, on location.

"Paintings painted En Plein Air, finished in the Studio": - Same as above but finished in the studio from memory or photo references. These should be identified as such.

"Studio Works": - Portraits, still-life, or any other subjects done indoors including landscapes (from memory or photo/transparency references).

"Studio Works from Life": - Portraits, still-life, or any other subjects done indoors including landscapes that are done from live setups and not from any photo references.

{to Marilee}:
Marilee, You are absolutely correct. Many artists label their work as a "plein air painting" when the bulk of a piece was completed in the studio. Or, when it is labeled as "plein air" when the artist has merely done sketches in the field but create a full piece in the studio.

This is a problem. To be honest, one must label paintings that are truly done on site as "plein air", and studio pieces as either "a painting of" or "studio painting of" or "from such and such a location."

The public is confused enough as it is with media, surfaces, limited-editions, and the like, and the more authentic we can be as individual artists (equates to integrity) regarding our originals the better it is for all, and for our individual legacy.
Diane

... I find this somewhat nitpicking, because these distinctions are not ones I am familiar with from the (limited) art history I have studied, although it might come up in detailed art criticism or biographies. Monet did not identify his Roeun cathedrals as copies 1, 2,... and not all his water lilies were finished in the garden (not his studio a few steps away)...

If one paints from the door or through a window on a rainy day, is it a studio painting? How about under a garden shed roof or under a canopy?

These distinctions seems like scrupulosity more than authenticity or honesty... They may be of interest to us as artists, but of minimal interest to most patrons, and of less significance than the quality of the paints, grounds and techniques which affect the endurance of the work... But even for the latter, that level of labeling on every work seems obcessive, doesn't it?

LDianeJohnson
09-09-2001, 04:54 PM
Maria,

You stated:
[Monet did not identify his Roeun cathedrals as copies 1, 2,... and not all his water lilies were finished in the garden (not his studio a few steps away)...]

True, but Monet was "known" as a plein air painter and did not need to. His studio works were few, even though he had three studios on his Giverny property alone. And he himself said, "“My studio! But I never had one, ...I don’t understand why anybody would want to shut themselves up in some room. Maybe for drawing, sure; but not for painting.”

I am not trying to argue anything, nor am I saying to mark every painting as to where and how it was created. Simply, that painters need to be honest when asked about their work. Many are not doing so, and this hurts the whole industry. And it does matter to the collector. Collectors take great interest in a piece that means something to them enough to pay for it. They want to know who the artist is and how the piece came to be.

I hope I don't sound like I am "obsessing". Every artist chooses his/her own mode of working, their own style and opinions on things just as anyone in any other field of endeavor. Physically "labeling" each painting is not the issue in my opinion. But telling the truth when asked is.

My next demo here at WC will be of a landscape painting done just feet from Monet's garden from inside my hotel room. I hope you will enjoy it!

Diane

blondheim12
09-19-2001, 07:08 AM
Diane,
I agree with your assesment. I have labels that I put on the back of every painting that include the authenticity, whether the painting is done en plein air or in studio and my website. I don't want people to be confused. Since I paint out on location from Sept-May and in studio from June-August, it would be easy to forget the location. By doing the label, I can always be honest. I don't want anyone to get the idea that there is anything wrong with studio painting, by reading these posts. There is a tendancy among some plein air painters to imply that studio painting is inferior. I will not subscribe to that interpretation and I resent the false snobbery that goes with it. They are simply two ways to paint. I sell both styles equally and if not for the label, one would not know the difference except for a slightly more detailed finish to the studio works.
Love,
Linda

brendahofreiter
09-19-2001, 08:50 AM
Like Linda, I also label the backs of my paintings to reflect whether or not they are created en plein air. I didn't know anybody else did it. A simple statement to the effect of "Original Oil Painting" or "Original Plein Air Painting" created by ... does the trick. I actually began this for me so that I could distinguish between them because it made a difference to me. Nobody I've sold one to seems to care or know the difference, and it probably is the first time they have heard the word, so a lot of education is necessary. Most of my work is created en plein air, but occassionally I do one as a combination or finish one in the studio. Since it is 6 months to a year before I varnish and show them, I forget if I don't label them when they are photographed. I also label them for archival reference and type of varnish used in case it is needed in the future.

Brenda

LDianeJohnson
10-01-2001, 09:36 PM
There is a tendancy among some plein air painters to imply that studio painting is inferior. I will not subscribe to that interpretation and I resent the false snobbery that goes with it. They are simply two ways to paint. --Linda

Linda,

This is good! Two ways to paint, not one better than the other, just different.

I also label the backs of my paintings to reflect whether or not they are created en plein air. ... A simple statement to the effect of "Original Oil Painting" or "Original Plein Air Painting" created by ... does the trick. -- Brenda

Brenda,

Excellent idea. It also helps when you are producing a great deal of work and can just peek at the back of any given piece to remember what you did.

I have a big self-stamping signature/URL stamp to apply to the backs of frames. Just that little extra marketing for clients who purchase a piece. Adding a label or note indicating something about the piece (plein air, studio, etc.) can mean a great deal to the customer.

Diane

billyg
03-20-2002, 06:43 AM
Both Daler Rowney and Winsor Newton produce pleine air watercolour kits complete with paint box, water containers,brushes,paper blocks etc all in a neat carrying wallet. You can also get the small 6 or 12 half pan paint boxes and with an A4 watercolour pad and pencil and a water jar your set to go watercolour pleine aire. Great fun.
Billyg. :D :evil: :angel:

LarrySeiler
03-21-2002, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by blondheim12
There is a tendancy among some plein air painters to imply that studio painting is inferior. I will not subscribe to that interpretation and I resent the false snobbery that goes with it.

I might tend to be taken to imply the inferiority of instudio painting, yet...the readers of my comments might miss that I frequently produce an instudio work.

My comments will relate to my believing (at least for me or others wanting to see color more accurately), that one order of working perhaps is less a hindrance than another. Its not a suggesting a "form" of art is inferior" but that a form of approaching art making can make the process of seeing color rightly, more inferior than perhaps other approaches.

These conclusions are based upon my own experience painting instudio for near 20 years, relying on mental experiences outdoors and resources such as many photos.

Its a physical property of cameras to interpret light based upon priority of where the lens is pointing to respond to the brightest light available. At that moment, the thru the lens metering either causes the camera to push harder to gather light and thus reduces all existing colors in the shadows to simply a dark dark, or allows to look into the shadows while bleaching out the light areas. This results naturally to the tendency to paint tonally. Tonalism is not itself a poor style of art, or inferior...but its one thing to choose intelligently to paint tonally as does our Milt (whom is a master of it), and quite another to not realize it because you are copying what a photo has given you...and more importantly because of what the photo is NOT giving you...

Thus...my emphasis is that photos are a poor substitute for seeing, and the tonalism that comes of reliance upon photos is in my opinion an inferior way of seeing. An inferior way of seeing? Can that be ignored by artists? Everything we do and depend upon in visual arts relies upon seeing rightly, and we should make every attempt to do just that.

There is a saying, "the mind stretched can never return to its former dimension!"

Having thus experienced seeing color that I never really paid much attention to before...which is attributed to actually getting out there and seeing it firsthand, I can't help but sound like poster child for plein air and its benefits. If in that enthusiasm some might pick up what sounds like a biase against tonalism or other styles....its certainly not going to be due to snobbery...but more robbery! Before the privilege to see everything, I relied on more partial truths, ie- photographs.

Now...however, after painting outdoors for quite sometime and producing many many works, I have an ability to look at a photo resource and just simply know what the camera is ignoring. I also teach photography and darkroom development, so that helps. Thus, having lifted the chains that formerly held me bound, I have no more problem painting a piece in a studio and can be an advocate of it. However, I also understand the danger of it...and no doubt my warning and implorings will sound like I'm suggesting a superiority to plein air, and an inferiority to instudio.

It will take people getting to know me over a period of time perhaps, to understand the full intent of my meanings.

I do not believe Linda had me in mind with this comment, but I saw it as an opportunity to offer a few thoughts on the issue.

Larry

impressionist2
04-09-2002, 09:02 AM
Here's the plein air "Easel List" from PAPA:

http://nhstudios.com/Policy.html

I use the EZ Go easel from SunEden ( it's on their list):http://www.sun-eden.com/

It's pictured on their homepage. It weighs 1.5 pounds. I use it indoors as well. It sets up in seconds, comes with ( purchased as an accessory ) it's own tray ( an absolute Must for me). I also bought the back pack that carries everything, the brush carrier, the paint tube holder, the wet canvas carrier. This is the lightest weight easel you will ever find. The entire setup cost me around $225. and I put my heavy luggy french easel in the basement for good.

Also, have you ever had to park up on a hill and walk a ways to your location? Try lugging along a gallon container of water to tie down your easel!! You don't need to do that anymore. The easel comes with metal stakes and I have painted in high wind at the harbor with no problem. The only time that doesn't work is if you're standing on cement.

I love this easel. It's a clamp-on top ( that works!) with two bottom supports that hold the canvas or board. Holds fairly large canvases too.
I've used it regularily for two years with no problems.

Btw, I loved the onlooker who thought the painting was done with a toothbrush!! Good one!

Renee

jenrou
04-09-2002, 12:29 PM
I've noticed on TV ourdoor programs, a sticky strip (similar to the old fly-paper) that you stick onto the back of the hat/cap to catch the critters flying around your head. ??? Guess you could stick them anywhere.:D

Yorky
04-09-2002, 03:14 PM
I was just checking back to Blondheim and Larry Seiler's discussion on the definition of plein air, and the amount of studio finishing work on some paintings. Also whether paintings done from the hotel window on comfort of the car could be classed as "plein air". (I'm a frequent culprit :D ).

IMHO the principal factor to be kept in mind is that you are painting the subject before you, not from photographs or other reference material. You capture the light "as is" and get an instant interpretation of the scene.

So if the result is a little rough, or could have had more time, either accept it for what it is. Or do another in the studio, but don't call it "plein aire".
(Duck! ) :evil:

Doug

impressionist2
04-22-2002, 03:37 PM
Here's the link to one of the panel companies used by some of the top plein aire painters in the country. That is, if you are not making them yourselves. You buy them by the box and they sell a panel carrier as well.:

http://www.raymarart.com/


Renee

blondheim12
04-22-2002, 10:19 PM
Larry,
I just noticed your post on 3/21/02 regarding the studio vs plein air painting. No, I was not thinking of you at all in my post, but you bring up some interesting points. I agree that using photos is a poor substitute for location painting. I actually don't use photos even in my studio works. i usually work from memory and make the compositions up as I go along, or use field paintings and enlarge them.
The other comments you made about tonalists were interesting to me in that it seems that you are saying that tonalists are all studio painters. Perhaps I misread your post. I know several plein air tonalists who are quite good.
Love,
Linda

impressionist2
04-24-2002, 10:39 AM
Linda, One can see the difference in "key" between your lovely paintings of Fla. and say, Ruth's beautiful paintings, done on location farther north in SC. Well, that's the way a true plein airist's paintings should be. The viewer ideally, should be able to tell the time of day and possibly which part of the country the artist was painting.

I don't think I really know what a landscape tonalist's paintings look like. Do you have any image examples? Thanks.

Also, as suggested, here's my miracle cure for messy painters from another thread:



Renee wrote: "Re: Cleaning those five alizarin crimson oil paint spots on my velour seats in my
new car:

Tried GOOP- left a blob of it on each spot for 20 minutes. Scrubbed with the
back scrubbing side of a sponge. Presto- disappeared like magic!! If I hadn't
seen it, I wouldn't have believed it. Didn't smear, didn't stain. Just
disappeared! Amazing.

Renee"

TPS
04-24-2002, 12:07 PM
Just a clarification:

The easel list link you posted is provided by NAPPAP, the National Academy of Professional Plein Air Painters. It is an entirely different group from PAPA, the Plein Air Painters of America. A small point, but I thought folks ought to know.

Plein Air Florida (http://www.pleinairflorida.org/index.htm)
Yet another plein air group.

blondheim12
04-24-2002, 09:27 PM
Renee,
I know two very good tonalist painters here in Florida, Larry Moore from Winter Park and Thom Buttner in Jacksonville. Unfortunately, I don't know their websites but you might find them in a search engine. I have painted with both of them and they both are members of Plein Air Florida.
Love,
Linda
http://pleinairflorida.org

Gavinart
05-18-2002, 03:05 PM
Painting cityscapes always has one problem...going to the bathroom.

You have to either have someone (you trust) watch your easle while you find a bar or restaurant, or suffer the consequences of an early day (that is if you drink some tea or coffee beforehand). Painting outside has become about monitoring my fluid intake in the morning and thorughout my session, as when nature calls....I lose my focus.

A banana and powerbar is always handy.

Out in the field is a bit different.

I also bring an extra sandwich bag, just in case a paint tube explodes or a brush goes nutty.

Masterartworks
06-06-2002, 08:09 PM
All the "PLein Air" paintouts and shows, I have participated in require that you have your blank canvas' and boards stamped at the beginning of the event, to ensure compliance with painting from life on location. The locations of all the artists are announced so the public can watch the artists at work. Then you usually select from the weeks work the final pieces to put in the show.

That was the case with the first of it's kind the "Plein Air Festival" in Northern California in 1988, hosted by San Jose Museum of Art. They adhered to the strictest guidelines, to ensure that they are not misrepresenting the public and patrons as to they type of art that is being presented. Over a period of two weeks we painted at different locations within a 150 mile radius of San Jose, I produced an average of three-to-four paintings a day, except for the day I demonstrated at the Civic Center. Each artist could exhibit up to ten pieces in the exhibition. One of my ten paintings for this show was painted from the doorway of my hotel of a planter filled with flowers and the background of Santa Cruiz Park. It was plein air because I was painting the outdoor effects of light, on my subject, and the painting was done right there on the spot from life. A "Plein Air Painter," "open air painter" is an artist that paints the effects of light on color, from life.

It's not a matter of, 'Plein Air Painters' being any better or any worse that those that paint from their imagination or photos in their studio. But for me it is a matter of integrity. I would not say I am an oil painter if I only painted with watercolors, nor would I say I am a plein air painter, if I mainly painted in my studio from photos. To the trained eye it is obvious if you are not a plein air painter. As obvious as it is if someone traces a photo and then says it was drawn freehand.

impressionist2
06-13-2002, 10:06 AM
New from Classic Artist Oils, the company that makes my Danacolors oil paints:

http://www.tricoat.com/classicoils/ClassicOils.html

are very small, clear plastic jars with screw-on caps for 25 cents each for plein air painters. No more lugging heavy tubes. I like to load the jars with paint, so to prevent any drying ( actually very slight) I place a couple of drops of medium on the top of the paint before storing overnight.

I ordered 30 of them so I will have some in stock. Another step toward my goal of toting the lightest setup there is. :)



Masterartworks, Thanks for the paintout info. NYSPA will use that pre-show painting stamp idea, in the future.

I really would like to see your paintings. Anyone who can pull off three to four paintings in a day has my interest. I don't have the stamina for that, but I sure would like to learn how. ( Hope it's not just youth, or I am sunk!:D ) Are these the really small ones, i.e., 6" x 9" ?

I tried your link to absolute arts but I don't know your name and there's a bunch of artists on the page. Can you please point us to your paintings?

Thanks.

Renee

Phyllis Rennie
06-13-2002, 09:01 PM
Renee, I couldn't find them on that site. Sounds like a good idea--I've got a few busted tubes wrapped in plastic. What a mess that is!

impressionist2
06-13-2002, 10:58 PM
Phyllis, That's how I found out about them. I had an ultra blue tube break open. There was blue paint everywhere!! I called Gretchen, the Classic oils rep and she suggested the jars.

Call : 800-972-8462 Ask for Gretchen. Tell her Renee from New York told you about the jars.

Btw, I use them as disposables. They hold more than a half a tube, and when the paint is gone I throw them away. At 25 cents each , that is doable.

Renee

Phyllis Rennie
06-14-2002, 10:02 PM
Thanks--will do that.

Marilee
06-22-2002, 02:00 AM
Impressionist2 - I looked at the Classic Oil site for the jars but did not see them listed. How did you hear about them?
Marilee

Marilee
06-22-2002, 02:05 AM
Gavinart -- You can leave your easel and paint while you find a restroom. I have never had anyone mess with my things while I am gone. I unually scope out the nearest restroom before I begin to paint no matter if its in the city or out in the field.
Marilee

Phyllis Rennie
06-22-2002, 07:26 PM
Hi Renee, those jars must be getting TOO POPULAR !! I called and they sent me one as a sample and they are now 50 cents apiece. :crying:

LDianeJohnson
06-22-2002, 07:35 PM
Hi All,

Just found the tiniest folding stool I've ever seen. Purchased it at REI, but you can see it at the mfg website at:

Byer of Maine: Tri-Lite Folding Stool (http://www.byerofmaine.com/s-tri.htm/)

It's a mere 1.5" x 2.5" x 12" when collapsed, and inserts into a little nylon sack. I generally use a larger stool/pack chair, but when space/weight is at a premium this will be a treat.

Diane

LDianeJohnson
06-22-2002, 08:02 PM
Just received and started using a Soltek Easel. I have seen and heard much about this easel, both pro and con from many artists, but decided to give it try myself. Yes, it is pricey, however, it is most compact and sets up in less than the 20 seconds they say it takes!! Hard to believe.

Easy to handle and adjust - works great painters in any media. The Pro's legs extend 8" longer than the standard, but the box/easel are the same.

I recommend many other fine easels as well, but this one is at the top of my list for stability and portability. The only primary care must be taken with the legs, but oh, those retractable legs -- super fast, super easy!

Diane

impressionist2
06-22-2002, 10:34 PM
Hi Renee, those jars must be getting TOO POPULAR !! I called and they sent me one as a sample and they are now 50 cents apiece.

Phyllis, Well, that's just annoying as heck! I just received 30 of them at 25 cents each and if it's true that they doubled the price overnight, that is well..............................Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.


Merilee, call Gretchen at the number in the post I wrote above. She has the now "overpriced" jars. Thing is they hold half a 4.6 ounce tube of paint, so even if you dispose of the jar, it's going to last quite a while. Plus, I just keep loading the jar, which keeps the air out, so they may last forever.

After a few days, I put one or two drops of sun thickened linseed oil in the paint and whip it with my palette knife. Keeps the paint buttery.

Diane, The Soltek sounds great. That'll be my next possible buy when my EZ Go goes! Is there room under the palette for tubes of paint? I have a snap on paint carrier ( which holds the aforementioned jars) and a tray with my EZ Go. The easel back leg is getting a little unsteady and I fear will go in time. But, they, too are retractable. However it takes about a minute and a half to set up. the twenty second thing sounds appealing. Is it still $500.?

Edit:
Just wanted to mention the two greatest features of the EZ Go easel are: The tent stakes that go through the o-rings on the bottom of the legs, and go about 7 inches into the ground. The easel has stood up to 45mph winds and absolutely won't go over. Ofcourse, at that point it gets a tad difficult to paint!

The second feature that I cannot paint without, is the tray that snaps onto the legs. Large enough to hold palette and brushes (the paint carrier snaps onto the legs right behind the tray) it's wonderful not to have to balance everything.
Renee

Marilee
06-23-2002, 01:57 AM
Diane, I belong to a plein air painters group and several have the soltek and don't like them. I will ask for more specifics but I hear a lot of complaints. I hope yours will work for you as they are expensive. I just got a 9X12 Guerilla pochade easel and so far I really like it. It so far has not gone over in the wind and I don't have that great of a tripod. It is so much lighter than the French Easel I have been using. Now I can put it in a backpack comfortably.
Marilee

LDianeJohnson
06-23-2002, 08:16 PM
Renee:
Yes, tubes fit above and below the palette area. Just under $500, and currently on sale with Dakota Art.

Marilee:
Yes, I am familiar with both the pros and cons expressed by painters regarding the Soltek. That is why I had to see for myself. I can let you know in a few months how the easel is faring. I like the fact that it can take very large as well as very small canvas sizes, is totally adjustable to nearly any landscape terrain senario, can have canvas' or boards attached to the outside of the box, and does not budge when I am bolting brushstrokes at canvas or board.

Diane

Ruth
07-06-2002, 10:14 AM
I gave this a test run on my last outing, and it worked fine.

I used a small nail to drive a starter hole in the edge of the masonite (or canvas stretcher) and screwed in a screw-eye. Put a piece of picture hanging wire through, wound the wire around an old dried-up pen and taped it.

With two of these gadgets, I can carry two wet paintings back-to-back with one hand.

Just be sure to hold them out away from you. They do tend to spin in the breeze, but there's probably a way to prevent that, too. Maybe using two screw eyes, one at each end of the wire.

When I got home I took the screw eye out of the panel and put it in another panel for next time.

Ruth

Daisy Random
07-07-2002, 11:24 PM
Great thread... I'm also new to plein air. I've been painting abstracts, in the studio for years. Decide to challenge myself with nature. What a humbling experience!

I'm using watercolors since i adore that medium. In the studio i'm much more detailed and methodical and can pleasantly lose myself with shapes and color. Outside, it's like learning everything all over again and I love it.

Question: What constitutes a plein air sketch as opposed to a painting? Is it merely attitude or is there an official criteria?

bertie291
07-08-2002, 12:56 AM
Hi guys, I'm new here to this site, but I'm really glad I found it! This is a wonderful and very helpful place, I have not been to another site anywhere on line sense I signed up on here last night, and today was my day off so I have been surfing this site most of the day in between housework, kids, etc...
Anyway, about Plein Aire painting / sketching, etc... I have only attempted it one time, what a disaster!! family was heading out on fishing trip, I figure I'll throw my stuff in the car and give it a try...well, I get set up on the bank, look about me and say 'wow' what a beautiful place this going to be great! So besides the wind, trying to keep my easel (my son's music stand for his Saxaphone, hey...it is lightweigt and works great without the wind! haha) and having to stop and talk to everyone passing by...I naturally get overwhelmed with the scene and try to capture to much of it onto my canvas. So I give up and go back to fishing! ha!
I've read some the posts and tips and all on this site and looking back I see alot of my mistakes that day.
My main mistake, I didn't focus. No matter how much you would like to cram a huge scene onto a canvas, it just won't work will it?
I've worked up my courage and will soon be out in plein aire again!
thanks!
bertie
sorry for the long post, please forgive me, I get passionate about painting!! :)

Yorky
07-08-2002, 04:21 AM
Hi Bertie,

Welcome to WetCanvas, you'll enjoy it here.

You will soon get to know to crop or simplify the scene before you. There is no way you can capture everything you see. I have a mat cut out so that a portion of the scene can be selected, and I keep it in the lid of my paintbox. Here's a terrible picture of it on my board to show you what I mean.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Jul-2002/Mat.jpg

Doug

LDianeJohnson
07-08-2002, 08:30 AM
Welcome Daisy & Bertie!

To the land of WetCanvas and Plein Air Painting forum! We hope you'll receive much encouragement and tips as you venture out on your own to discover the wonders and joys of painting before your subject, the landscape.

Doug's suggestion is the perfect way to zoom in right away on the excact subject you wish to paint and not be distracted with peripherial items.

Another great tool invented by an artist is the Viewcatcher which is a portable gem of a device for creating your compositions. Their site is http://www.viewcatcher.com, or call 1888-834-6166.

Diane

designergigi
07-10-2002, 10:04 PM
Diane, there is a couple of errors in the link for the view catcher. If you are like me, you type quickly and sometimes those pesky fingers get in the way. :)

http://www.viewcatcher.com/
is the link that worked for me.

You may get a laugh out of this. I always thought when Carly referred to her viewfinder, that she was talking about those toys as kids we inserted slides. I was rather curious about the use of them. :p Thanks for sharing this link and clearing up my viewfinder question.



Thanks for all the other tips, people! Loads of great ideas!

LDianeJohnson
07-11-2002, 10:37 AM
Thanks DG,

Yes, my fingers were going faster than my brain. I've fixed my post.

Good eye!

Diane

Phyllis Rennie
07-11-2002, 08:50 PM
Another way to select the view----actually I got this from you, Diane, but we weren't really discussing tips------is to carry a small rectangular mirror with you. Just hold it so you are looking at the scene behind you. Then, when you see a composition that you like, turn around and paint it.

CarlyHardy
08-07-2002, 12:04 PM
When painting yesterday, I looked down and realized that pesky little black ants had crawled up my easel and were all over my palette and in my easel! I have no idea how many I painted into the painting! LOL

On another mailing lists for plein airists, I asked what to do to avoid this problem. I wasn't standing in an ant hill...they didn't crawl on me!

CINNAMON!! ants hate it and will avoid it. It was suggested that I use cinnamon sticks at the legs of my easel because ants will avoid that area.

Just wanted to pass this one on to all of you, especially those of you in the south USA...where tiny ants abound in the summertime!

carly

surfer
08-07-2002, 05:52 PM
I have them all, french easel, open box M and russian easels but my favorite easel for ease of transport, lightweight, holds all your supplies and well engineered is the Soltek easel. Check it out at Soltek Easel (http://xylemdesign.com/Easels/ArtistEasels/SoltekPortableEasel.asp)

ramjo
08-22-2002, 09:19 PM
you should guys try openboxm for plein air painting. it's a great I use it a lot.


__________________

joseph

ramjo
08-22-2002, 09:34 PM
Pierre,
I viewed your paintings they are beautiful. what easel do you use for your small paintings? and where can i find those small linen panels?


_____________

Joseph

surfer
08-22-2002, 10:42 PM
Joseph

I use a soltek easel exclusively now but used a Yarka russian easel for a long time, then got a Mabef French easel (Used it for years) and an OPen Box M easel for travelling. Once I got my soltek easel I abandoned all my other easels. It is light, 8lbs unloaded, durable, sturdy and fits in my suitcase with my clothes when I travel. It is the modern day high tech french easel.

Raymar has great panels. I make my own. I buy a mahogany or birch 4'x8' door panel saw it into panel sizes of my choosing and glue linen to them. An 8x10 linen panel costs me less than one dollar verses raymar linens at $4.50 or so.

In making the panel I follow Kevin McPherson's instructions in his book on plein air painting called Fill you Oil Paintings with Light and Color. A must have for any plein air painter.

Hang ten,

Pierre

Marilee
08-23-2002, 09:38 PM
Pierre, I second both of your suggestions concerning making your own panels and Kevin's book. I met Kevin at one of his openings and asked him about his panel sizes - 10"x13" which I thought to be an unusual size. He said that he uses that for easy travel and has a paint box made for wet panels.

Marilee

ramjo
08-24-2002, 12:15 PM
Pierre,
thnks for the information. I have the book of kevin macpherson actually it helped me a lot.

_______
joseph

ramjo
08-24-2002, 12:20 PM
marilee,
where can you get those wet box panels? did kevin macpherson told you where he got it?

_____________
joseph

Marilee
08-24-2002, 08:13 PM
Joseph, Kevin had his boxes made for him. But there are others offered through the art supply catalogs. The best price for them is the Taos box which you can get through Artisans of Santa Fe catalog. I have seen them and plan to get one when I go to Taos next month. I like them better than the others that I have seen. You can also make them if you are handy with woodworking. They are essentially a wooden box with wooden pieces attached inside for dividers.

Marilee

ramjo
08-25-2002, 12:33 AM
cool..thanks for the info Marilee

_________

Joseph:D

surfer
10-02-2002, 03:46 PM
Marilee

Do youhave a number or web address for Artisans of Sante Fe?

Thanks

Pierre

Rodger Walker
10-02-2002, 11:19 PM
This is a fabulous thread…

Can anyone offer suggestions on brushes? I’ve spent a small fortune on brushes and am frustrated with them all … maybe I have to high of expectations.

I heard about Trekell brushes from Michael Georges. I’ve order some and waiting to try them out. The prices are about half of W/N and are supposed to be better.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Rodger

Marilee
10-03-2002, 01:26 AM
Pierre, The phone number for Artisans is 800-331-6375. Web site is www.artisan-santafe.com.

Marilee

LarrySeiler
10-03-2002, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by Rodger Walker
This is a fabulous thread…

Can anyone offer suggestions on brushes? I’ve spent a small fortune on brushes and am frustrated with them all … maybe I have to high of expectations.

I heard about Trekell brushes from Michael Georges. I’ve order some and waiting to try them out. The prices are about half of W/N and are supposed to be better.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Rodger

Rodger...I guess that depends upon your style and methods. I maintain that I could probably paint with a broken off tree's branch.

I more or less see brushes as fancy forms of painting knives. Dipping the brush tip in, taking no more than about three strokes then back to the palette to pick up more.

Other than some flats and working of the sky, not too often do I get bristles showing in the texture of the paint.

so...I guess what I'm admitting to is, I sell pricey paintings using for the most part cheap hog bristles.

The main thing I look for is interlocking hog bristles that will keep shape longer. I'll try nearly any brand that advertises itself as interlocking.

So...are you painting thinner, less impasto'ish such that the bristles themselves leave a definite textured impression?

I find painting plein air that the speed and energy necessary, and the kind of spontaneity that comes takes over all other considerations.

I've got some pretty worn bristles to be quite honest.

Larry

Rodger Walker
10-03-2002, 02:50 PM
Larry, I am trying to learn mare about Impressionism and really want to do plein aire but do to a disability right now I’m limited to painting from photos, My web site is: http://home.earthlink.net/~gabbyjrw20/index.html[/url] if you want to take a look.

Like I said before “ I’m probably expecting to much from any brush”.

Thanks for your help.

Rodger

LarrySeiler
10-03-2002, 11:27 PM
Hey Rodger...Sometimes we get so wrapped in the "how-to" that we neglect the "need to" and "why to"....

Usually, the artists that fret over very expensive brushes do multiple thin glazes over underpainting or a grisalle....and paint in a more traditional manner...where impressions left behind by poorer brushes is more critical. What we are seeing though in landscape objects are things that can very easily be imitated as forms of texture.

This is good news then too for artists on a budget...and why I make the coy comment about painting with a stick or branch end. Anything that can load up paint is subject to possibly working.

Prior to my going outdoors to paint on location....I was beginning to experiment with other methods to enhance that "feeling" indoors of what it would be like outdoors.

I was looking at having slides made into larger transparencies...like a large slide that can then be applied over light boxes. Or invest in a large box like projector that has about a 10" x 14" viewing screen on one side. Slides with light behind them tend to show more intensity and similarity to being outdoors than photos do. Some kind of slide viewer might be what you might want to try out!

I'll check your site out....but wanted to get back to you here first!

Larry

Rodger Walker
10-04-2002, 12:35 AM
Larry.

Thanks for the feedback. Kevin Macpherson echoed you suggestion of “ some kind of slide projector”. I think I’ll get busy and check them out.

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all your help.

Rodger
:clap:

LDianeJohnson
10-22-2002, 02:05 AM
Look into the Telex Caramate...been using it for years.

http://www.telex.com/Multimedia/WebPages.nsf/dd5cab6801f1723585256474005327c8/73b214411ea57f7286256784006f4504!OpenDocument


Diane

fayanne
11-17-2002, 02:49 PM
I expect I puzzled anyone who saw that photo yesterday!
It was meant to be attached to a different mail. The photo was too big and the mail got lost somewhere.

Addressed to Artistry, it was my reaction to the advice to start plein air the easy way, by painting the view outside one's home. As you see from the photo, the view from my window is about as uninteresting as they get.

I suppose "plein air" does really conjure up magical scenery, wild places, gracious edifices, quaint villages, etc. What a pity life isn't like that. Many of us don't actually live in "artistic" surroundings, so it'll be a case of hitting the road if we want to paint anything more interesting than the neighbour's carport (or worse).

Still, it's an interesting thought....

Here's the jpeg again, shrunk!:crying::rolleyes::eek::confused:

ramjo
11-17-2002, 07:09 PM
Larry,
which is better using slide projector or photograph when painting inside the studio? thks for the feedback..

___________

Ramjo:D

billyg
11-21-2002, 06:16 AM
Hi Fayanne,
I think with your Photo you should do like Yorky has done and look at it with a viewvinder to create little thumbprints of parts of the photo.The top left hand quarter looks even in the small size as though there could maybe be a nice little study for you to try. Look at the works in Pleine Aire, and youll see that many of them are spontaneous studies or pochades. I didnt think there was much to see myself until I started to really look and not just at the big scene. There are lots of things going on in little corners all over the place.
Billyg. :D :angel: :evil:

fayanne
11-21-2002, 07:59 AM
Thanks for replying, Billyg.

You may be right. I'll chop the photo up digitally first, and hope I'm inspired by some of the bits despite the surfeit of hooker's green foliage!

Here's a snapshot taken from behind that hedge looking at the will that grows just outside my bedroom window (groundfloor flat). I thought willows always grew near water, but this one seems to be thriving on bricks and mortar, and regularly has to have bits and pieces cut off that are threatening to grow through the windows of houses across the road. The tree forms a graceful arch, especially in summer, when its foliage hangs down gracefully. The tree-trimming is always a huge performance, since the town gardeners have to borrow the crane used for repairing the street lighting to get at the offending branches. The tree is higher than this house, and it's the last of 10, yes ten of them, that the house owner planted 40 years ago, obviously in blissful ignorance of the rate of growth and potential size of willows. 9 of them have since been cut down, and it was apparently a very expensive undertaking, since expert lumberjacks had to come and dictate which way the trees should fall, avoiding as much of the housing as possible, for obvious reasons. the residents watched the drama from a safe distance, just in case.

There's one born every day!

Happy painting

Fayanne

LDianeJohnson
11-21-2002, 05:52 PM
fayanne

Sorry it took me so long to reply to your post. I understand your dilemma, that is, seemingly uninteresting surroundings to paint en plein air. Where I live it is very flat, ordinary and sometimes discouraging to try and paint. BUT, the good side, is that if I can paint here, I can paint anywhere. Part of the challenge of the painter, indoors or out, is to make the ordinary into the extraordinary!

The photo you posted of your area could have great potential! When a place is plain, I then look to very early morning or dusk for opportunities. Long, beautiful shadows and glowing light can transform a simple scene. Also observe autumn or spring colors that naturally show up in a very "green" scene.

We don't always have the ideal situation so in addition to what I've just suggested, try these other approaches:

1. View the scene from a different vantage point, go upstairs and paint from an upper story window to the scene below.

2. Or, stoop very low and look up at the scene.

3. Or, look through the spaces the bottoms of tree canopies and the ground for interesting, intimate relationships.

4. Paint close-up. Painting en plein air does not necessarily mean you have to paint a "scene." What about a close-up view of a single flower, house siding and wildflowers, a single leaf or tree, etc.

These are just a few ideas. The main thought is to try and look at old things in a new way, then paint! Then you'll be all ready when you do find that incredible vista or landscape that cries out to be painted!

All the Best,
Diane

CarlyHardy
12-11-2002, 12:16 AM
Here's a tip for cold weather painting....don't plan on using fixative if the temperature drops below 50 or so, unless you can find a way to keep the can warmer!

I tried spraying my painting with fixative this week and was surprised to see what looked like light rain spattering the painting! The can had gotten cold and the spray was 'heavy'! I waited a bit for all to dry then smudged out some of the sprayed areas...worked the color back in and all was fine.

In the summer with the heat, spraying fixative was never a problem! LOL
carly

jenrou
12-11-2002, 01:10 AM
Carly, that same type thing happened to me this week with clear sealer spray. The acrylic sketch I was spraying it on wasn't any good, so the streaks didn't matter.:D The can was in the house, but evidently still too cold.

Searle
03-26-2003, 04:09 AM
I have never used an easle that didn't give me hell with stability, so now i just put my painting on the ground and paint standing over it.

searle

Marilee
04-05-2003, 02:07 AM
Searle, I had problems with stability too. I am using the Guerilla Plein Air Easel but with a very stable tripod. After trying 3 others I finally tried the Bogen Jr. and have not have problems in wind, rain, rough terrain, etc. I found that you have to have a tripod with cast iron fittings and not plastic. The plastic ones will shimmy in wind, etc. The iron will keep it stable. You can also put a weight of some type will also help. I use my backpack.

Marilee
www.gallerymarilee.com

LDianeJohnson
04-07-2003, 08:42 PM
And just as an add-on...the one piece, self-contained Soltek easel is very expensive but the most stable in the field that I have ever used.

Bogen tripods are excellent. If anyone purchases a Guerilla, Open BoxM, or any other box, generally, purchase the tripod recommended by any mfg you order an easel from since they want their products to do what they say they'll do. And after you've checked out the tripod see if there is another model equally strong but lighter in weight get it so that you can carry more paint and canvas :)

My slogan for these things is "Every ounce counts!"

D.

Marilee
04-07-2003, 08:56 PM
I found great deals at used camera stores on tripods and other camera related items. I got an almost new bogen jr for $79! It hasn't failed me yet.
Marilee

KYH
04-17-2003, 09:10 PM
Marilee
I can't imagine what it is like in so ca but I bet if I were there I'd want to be painting outside all the time. I'm from much farther north (-12 C this morning) and I find it hard to paint inside in any kind of good weather after only a year of painting outside. I find the bigest problem in the cold is that paint thickens up quickly and my feet get cold first.

Johnnie
06-07-2003, 08:49 AM
Originally posted by Artistry
And Larry Seilier has made them as well. There are a several posts to check that he has written. He also posted this address of how to make one yourself:
http://people.ne.mediaone.net/jcle/index.html#pochade


Diane



Hi

THe above address to make a pochade box myself goes nowhere.

Would you have the correct addy please. If so plz post.

Thanks

Also if anyone else reading this has plans of sorts for a Pochade box could you post plz or send to
[email protected]

Thanks

JJ

Rodger Walker
06-09-2003, 03:34 PM
JJ;

Try this one: http://home.attbi.com/~jcle/

Good luck.

Rodger

Johnnie
06-09-2003, 06:18 PM
Originally posted by Rodger Walker
JJ;

Try this one: http://home.attbi.com/~jcle/

Good luck.

Rodger

I checked that out and its close to what Im looking to make.

thank Roger

JJ

O'Connor
06-13-2003, 12:48 AM
Hey! Whoa!
Just have to get my licks in here.
I HOPE I didn't hear anyone in here talking about photographs as some second-rate, second-hand impressions that are not as reliable or accurate as the human eye, or as expressive as some other mediums!
I may be a flat-out amateur when it comes to oil painting and plein aire, but after nearly 30 years behind a lens, I will stack my photographic art against anything!
Good photography, good photographs, as much as any art medium, is directly proportionate to the passion, the eye and the skills of the artist.


Okay, okay! This is actually a little tongue-in-cheek. For heaven's sake, guys, I'm not THAT serious!
(the part about 30 years behind the lens and believing in my photography is true, though) ;)

impressionist2
06-13-2003, 08:31 AM
Originally posted by Artistry
fayanne

Sorry it took me so long to reply to your post. I understand your dilemma, that is, seemingly uninteresting surroundings to paint en plein air. Where I live it is very flat, ordinary and sometimes discouraging to try and paint. BUT, the good side, is that if I can paint here, I can paint anywhere. Part of the challenge of the painter, indoors or out, is to make the ordinary into the extraordinary!

The photo you posted of your area could have great potential! When a place is plain, I then look to very early morning or dusk for opportunities. Long, beautiful shadows and glowing light can transform a simple scene. Also observe autumn or spring colors that naturally show up in a very "green" scene.

We don't always have the ideal situation so in addition to what I've just suggested, try these other approaches:

1. View the scene from a different vantage point, go upstairs and paint from an upper story window to the scene below.

2. Or, stoop very low and look up at the scene.

3. Or, look through the spaces the bottoms of tree canopies and the ground for interesting, intimate relationships.

4. Paint close-up. Painting en plein air does not necessarily mean you have to paint a "scene." What about a close-up view of a single flower, house siding and wildflowers, a single leaf or tree, etc.

These are just a few ideas. The main thought is to try and look at old things in a new way, then paint! Then you'll be all ready when you do find that incredible vista or landscape that cries out to be painted!

All the Best,
Diane


Diane, Hi. These are fabulous suggestions. Some of the most interesting paintings are those with "birds-eye" views or "worms eye" views. "Seeing" something in a totally new way is so important.

Appreciating your suggestions out here, on mostly flat Long Island.

Renee

Marilee
06-13-2003, 12:07 PM
O.Conner, I don't think anyone was criticizing photos, but discussing using them as references for paintings. They were talking about how to see a scene better in a compositional way by using a photo and rearranging or cropping it.
Marilee

JudyL
06-15-2003, 03:30 PM
I saw this tip about BUGS on another site and thought this would help. They said to pin Bounce fabric softener sheets to your shirt to keep the bugs out of your face. Worth a try?

chocHollyK
07-04-2003, 01:45 PM
What a wonderful thread! I have been invited by a friend to join a plein aire group this coming Tuesday! I am a fairly new watercolorist, and cannot currently afford to continue lessons. (Though I hope to again in the future.)
I am more excited now, since reading this thread. As soon as I hung up from talking to my friend, I began listing materials I want to pack, and began looking around the house for my backpack and handy gadgets to 'put the show on the road' so to speak. (Cannot find a single backpack!!:mad: I hope I didn't throw them away or send to salvation army when I moved last year!)
THEN, I found this thread!

DIANE: Thank you especially for your "portable paint kit" info! It looks perfect!

DOUG: The matboard is a perfect idea, and I have just the scrap illustration board to make it!!

TBS: It would seem clothing would be really easy to figure out - get up and get dressed according to the weather! But your tips make so much sense, and may make the difference between never joing the group again or begging to go back soon!

Thank you all!

midcoast
10-29-2003, 11:02 AM
Just wanted to add a couple of things to this awesome thread...

For brushes, I actually prefer the Artec bristle flats you can get a Michael's crafts. They seem to hold their shape MUCH longer than more expensive brushes, are easy to find, and a good price.

I also have a bit of a downer to add about what I take when I go plein aire painting. I was the victim of an attempted rape one day last year when I was out painting in rural Colorado (right along a well-used highway no less!). Since then I have carried, and kept close to me, the grizzly-size personal defense spray. Looks like a small fire extinguisher and can put out a spray of up to 20 ft. Works on people and animals too. Hate to bring up something as sobering as that, but nasty things can happen.

Nancy

Johnnie
10-29-2003, 11:10 AM
Originally posted by nrynes
Just wanted to add a couple of things to this awesome thread...

For brushes, I actually prefer the Artec bristle flats you can get a Michael's crafts. They seem to hold their shape MUCH longer than more expensive brushes, are easy to find, and a good price.

I also have a bit of a downer to add about what I take when I go plein aire painting. I was the victim of an attempted rape one day last year when I was out painting in rural Colorado (right along a well-used highway no less!). Since then I have carried, and kept close to me, the grizzly-size personal defense spray. Looks like a small fire extinguisher and can put out a spray of up to 20 ft. Works on people and animals too. Hate to bring up something as sobering as that, but nasty things can happen.

Nancy

Hi Nancy

Well isnt that a something. Holy Moly!!! Terrible times we are in now. Give me the 50's 60's anyday. Wish I could find a time machine.

I hope you got over the experience. I must say tho, you pretty bawlsy lady to go out and paint outdoor again. Most women would hide in house after an event like that. Good for you. Shame tho , one has to arm themselves to protect themselve.

Get a big double barrel shotgun. ;) Then you dont spray them You cut them in half on the "parts line" ;)

Wish you all the best. I am extremely annoyed at the fact you even have to carry a spray to paint. I dont know you. But it really ticks me off.

All the best.
Johnnie

midcoast
10-29-2003, 01:34 PM
Johnnie, thanks for your outrage. People should be outraged that there are freaks out there trying to do this sh*t to other people.

My desire to paint outdoors over-rode the fear I had when starting out again after the incident. I wasn't going to let that one freak ruin my fun :) I was more pissed off than scared after I had a couple of days to calm down. Really pissed off.

My boyfriend and his father DO actually suggest that I carry a gun now (this IS Colorado, after all), and while I really don't have a moral dilemma with that, I feel the bear spray would be more usuable in my hands during a similar, high-fear situation. A shaking hand isn't conducive to hitting a moving target, but the wide reach of the bear spray isn't a problem. My bear spray even comes with a holster so that you can attach it to your belt. I carry it with me when I hike now as well...had an incident in Mt Rainier National Park where two twenty-somethings started to follow me and give me a really hard time. Making rather nasty suggestions and threats and trying to get me into an out-of-the-way area. I pulled out the bear spray (the container is big and kinda intimidating - not your little cylinder of mace) and asked them if they would like to continue. If so, I'd gladly give them a face full. They both ran the other way :)

One of my plein aire instructors out here in Colorado regularly carries a gun and has suggested I do the same. He's had some trouble too, just from local rednecks wanting to harrass him and/or use his truck for target practice.

What actually stopped the rapist-freak was my dog in the back of the truck. The dog was just a puppy at the time, but he was growling and barking and was about ready to jump at the guy. That coupled with some traffic going by and I could see in his face he reconsidered. He drove off pretty quickly. I had been prepared to put up a huge fight...I took a self-defense class from an ex-cop and know how to hurt a guy like that ;) Now I have the pepper spray as a first deterrent.

I found out later that there WAS a serial rapist loose in the general area at the time, and he fit the description of the guy who tried to get me. Creepy. Not sure why I've gotten hassled like this a few times. I'm small (short and athletic) so maybe I look like a pushover...??? I'm in my 30-somethings, not old by any means, but not a naive little "young thang" either.

I haven't had any trouble since that incident a year or so ago. Hope I never have it again. Everyone who has stopped by to watch me paint since then has been nice and just want to see an artist in action. I hope that continues :)

But for me, pepper spray will always be part of my painting kit.

Johnnie
10-29-2003, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by nrynes
But for me, pepper spray will always be part of my painting kit.

hi

Well I kinda think your right about the bear spray working better if your shivering from frear. Its does have a wider spray and chance of hitting target much bigger.

Well go luck and enjoy your excursions!.

Johnnie

surfer
11-07-2003, 05:10 PM
Aloha from Hawaii

I was once a die hard soltek easel fan but have abandoned it. A number of months ago i began having problems with the legs. One on them just popped all the way out. I sent the leg back, they repaired it. Shortly after replacing a leg, another leg would slide in the closed position but would not lock and it slid open.

So, I am back to my old favorite, my Open Box M. I love it. The easel is adjustable in height so that I can paint and have my palette closer to my eye level. I just traveled through Cal with it and took out the palette and stuck it in my suitcase. The dimensions of this piece are 10"x12"x1". This piece snaps on your tripod, is your palette and holds your painting surface. Light weight travelling.

Of course you can take the box with you which holds your paints, brushes, your palette piece and has panel storage for wet paintings. the dimensions are approx 10x12x6. Pretty compact.

Has anyone been having the problems with their soltek like myself and several of my friends?

Pierre

Rodger Walker
11-07-2003, 05:41 PM
Pierre,
I've not heard of "Open Box M" easel before. Where can I go to get more info?

Thanks
Rodger

Egon
11-07-2003, 06:44 PM
PLAIN AIR - extreme
Sorry - last not least I have to add a little :

You have got all the equipment you "want" from easel to peanut-butter - but WHO will carry all the load ????? a sherpa ?

Want to paint something like this - after 3 hours walking and a little climbing - no place to swing a cat :evil:

Egon
11-07-2003, 06:46 PM
all I need is - and you can use it for everyday too

(the film box is for the water):angel:

surfer
11-07-2003, 07:38 PM
Rodger

http://openboxm.com/

E-J
11-16-2003, 11:46 AM
Hi. Some way back in this thread, Daisy asked a question that's been on my mind lately but I've read my way through all the posts and it doesn't look as if anyone got around to replying. So I'll jump in and ask again.

When is a plein air considered 'just' a sketch, as opposed to a plein air painting? Do regulars to this forum even consider this distinction an important one? And when Larry and others mention notching up a certain number of plein airs ... does that include small sketches? I understand pochades to be small, fairly rapidly-executed location sketches and I'm guessing these would be acceptable additions to one's plein air count ...?

These little watercolours from a trip to Greece were done in a 6x4" sketchbook. Do they count?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Apr-2003/13865-sketches1.jpg

This might all seem a bit silly but it's of some psychological importance to me ... If I can tell myself I've already got a few legitimate plein airs behind me then maybe I will finally get my courage and my arse in gear to go pastelling/painting outdoors on a larger scale! :)

Johnnie
11-16-2003, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Egon
all I need is - and you can use it for everyday too

(the film box is for the water):angel:


Hi

Thats close to what I use .

I paint in my little VW golf tho. Is that considered PlainAire. of half/half...lol

I use a Yarka Pro pan set and sketch book I made myself from Winsor 140lb paper. My water is use is from a drive thur coffee shop. When I get my coffee I ask for a large cup of water and empty cup. One for clean water one for dirty. Dont use an easel I use the steering wheel.

You can laugh..its ok.. But it works for me.

Good stuf.

Johnnie

Egon
11-16-2003, 01:01 PM
Hi everybody ,

For me is plain air - life drawing on location - what I see or want to see:evil:
But this fits for some still life , out of the window (car or house)and life figure drawing too .

On the other side - sitting in the garden doing some paintings from photos - is plain air - but for me its poor and cheating:D

Gubster Bug
11-21-2003, 12:42 PM
EJ,
I liked your 4x6 WC sketches. Can you tell me anything about the sketchbook?

Gubster Bug

E-J
11-22-2003, 07:20 AM
Hi Gubster - thank you. The Daler-Rowney sketchbook is hardback and isn't specifically for watercolour, but contains ordinary 150g/m acid-free cartridge paper which takes a light wash of w/colour without really buckling.

Marc Sabatella
12-05-2003, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by E-J
When is a plein air considered 'just' a sketch, as opposed to a plein air painting? Do regulars to this forum even consider this distinction an important one?


(I hadn't noticed this thread until now)

Normally, I don't pay attention to this distinction. But then, virtually all painting I do is plein air, so there is not as clear a line as there might be for a studio painter who is accustomed to spending weeks on a painting.

I've got only a couple of paintings where I think the distinction is relevant. In most of my paintings, I am reasonably careful to pick a scene that I like compositionally, and think about all the other aesthetic elements of painting like edges to some degree as well. Every once in a while, though, I do a painting where the only thing of real concern to me is capturing the "feel" of the place - usually this means a temporary weather condition (or at least a weather condition so unpleasant to be in that I can only stand to be painting there a relatively short time). I haven't really done scenes that are in motion, like crowds, but I can imagine a similar phenomenon in that situation. Anyhow, when my goal is simply capturing feel, I'll often end up with a painting done even more quickly than my usual, with some pretty obvious "flaws" or incomplete areas that I'd otherwise be inclined to fix later - but for whatever reason, I found the experience of *being there* so valuable, and the painting so successful at some level of capturing this, that I choose to leave it mostly as is.

This, however, is mostly a distinction I make in terms of how I treat the painting in terms of technique. I don't make any such distinction in how I present such paintings to the public - they aren't labelled or priced any differently, for example. Assuming they are successful on some level, I think of them as just as valuable as paintings that perhaps succeed more on other levels.

gill
12-05-2003, 04:55 PM
Wow, I had forgotten that I was on the first page of this thread in 01.
I have finally started using my plein aire equipment inside so that I just start painting where ever I am. Sometimes I just use a table easel in the back of my honda hatchback if I need a little cover from the weather.
Nice thread!

gill
www.gillpollard.com

sirce
12-12-2003, 02:20 PM
Dear Diane: I paint in Florida too. Never heard of Gugs. I'm south of you in the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge Everglades region.
My latest favorite outdoor painting medium is water soluable oils. Acrylics usually dry too fast, watercolors are too scary for me, pastels are a second favorite and the regular oils or alkyds have the spirit solutions that I don't like to take outdoors in case I spill any. Which I did when I first moved to FLorida 16 y ears ago and didn't yet know that those red ants bite...I spilled my jar of turps into their mound by my feet and they left me alone for a while.
Sirce

Keenataz
12-15-2003, 11:23 PM
Originally posted by Johnnie


hi

Well I kinda think your right about the bear spray working better if your shivering from frear. Its does have a wider spray and chance of hitting target much bigger.

Well go luck and enjoy your excursions!.

Johnnie

Thanks for the reminder to be safe outside. I always have my dog with me - which has had it's problems with stray dogs. I ended up using pepper spray on the stray.

A note of caution though - make SURE you are spraying DOWNwind - otherwise you'll get it in your face. Even a crosswind can do it. If you are asthmatic (like me) it can be lethal. For anyone else it is very painful and can cause severe swelling (which is why its a good weapon!:evil: ).

Cheers,
Keena

gill
12-16-2003, 09:37 AM
Hi Kenna:
Pepper spray, like any weapon, should be kept in good working condition and practiced. My wife carried some around for several years and when I tested it, there was no spray and it had never been used.
It would be a good idea to spray the thing one time to see how far it shoots and of course to test it or just replace it ever year or so.When replacing one it would be a good time to practice with the old one to get the hang of it. You are right in that you don't want to do it into the wind as the saying goes!

gill
www.gillpollard.com

Tap
12-17-2003, 01:25 AM
Originally posted by colinbarclay
Hi,
I always bring a peice of rope too - when its windy you can suspend a rock from the underside of the notoriously tippy french easel . Really helps on windy days at Mt Desert !
Colin


I thought the same thing when I was paintng on Otter Point and actually gave thanks that I was not of lighter weight, I would have been either blown off the cliffs by the winds or dragged off by my springers as they tried to get the birds. Not a good idea to take your bird dogs paintings...

Tap ;~D

D J Lanzendorfer
02-17-2004, 08:08 PM
I use a very lightwieght aluminum Stanrite easel for Plein air and bring a lightwieght tv tray. I've learned that less is best & no longer bring fifty brushes and tons of mediums that i don't use. One of the things that can be a problem in Florida (especially in the summer) is gugs. Little tiny knat like things that seem to love the paint. I used to have to wait for the painting to dry & pick them off http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/frown.gif. Not a good thing. I now carry a can of insecticide. I spray newspaper with it and tape it to the back of the canvas. Since i used prestretched canvas it's easily done by taping it to the wooden frame without contaminating the actual surface (or back). I also spray the legs of the easel. I haven't had a problem since. Great thread Diane!
Cheryl

------------------
paintfool

That is what I use , a StanRite water color easel. It is sturdy enough and real easy to attach to my box. I used to stretch canvas to panels too but have moved on to gessoed panels, the canvas was a big mistake. I can paint much better on the gesso. Give it a try and let me know if you have the same experience. What is the TV tray for?

Happy Painting! DJ

Egon
02-26-2004, 01:44 PM
I'm glad you brought that up.I have never painted in plein air before but would like to try.I do mostly watercolors but I imagine it is too much trouble in plein air...drawing sounds easier.Less stuff to carry.
Looking forward to reading more advice on that!
Thanks!
Gisele

Gisele LOL dont be scared about all this stuff -
painting with watercolors I use postcardsize or 15 x 21 cm , a watercolorset in pocketsize , water in a tiny filmbox ,pencil,event. fineliner
If its possible (weather) I take it with me in the mountains, bicycling , walking - did this last sunday :D http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Feb-2004/16526-Februar_2004.jpg

James or Jimmy Jim
03-02-2004, 03:56 PM
Hey Rodger...Sometimes we get so wrapped in the "how-to" that we neglect the "need to" and "why to"....

Prior to my going outdoors to paint on location....I was beginning to experiment with other methods to enhance that "feeling" indoors of what it would be like outdoors.

I was looking at having slides made into larger transparencies...like a large slide that can then be applied over light boxes. Or invest in a large box like projector that has about a 10" x 14" viewing screen on one side. Slides with light behind them tend to show more intensity and similarity to being outdoors than photos do. Some kind of slide viewer might be what you might want to try out!
Larry


This is funny Larry, you sound like me here. I even tried a digital image on a computer monitor - not that bad, and you can adjust colour and/or values in Photoshop!

CarlyHardy
03-11-2004, 10:12 PM
A tip to keep your feet happy while painting all day......

Take along another pair of shoes and socks to change into when you have lunch! Yes, your feet will feel so fresh that they'll think you're just starting out :)

Early mornings I wear a pair of boots to keep my feet warmer, especially in the winter and early spring. But midday, its too hot for the boots, so I switch to walking shoes (which are also lighter) but still hardy enough for walking trails.

Summertime, its very hot and feet sweat. Change to clean socks and a dry pair of sneakers for a fresher feel.

In the summer....do not wear flip flops or other sandals. When standing you can develop blistered feet unless you are well shaded from the sun!

Good shoes also protect from bugs, sticks, rocks, (even snakes)....so take care of your footsies while painting!
carly

Donald_Smith
03-12-2004, 02:36 PM
Pierre Bouret said

"Raymar has great panels. I make my own. I buy a mahogany or birch 4'x8' door panel saw it into panel sizes of my choosing and glue linen to them. An 8x10 linen panel costs me less than one dollar verses raymar linens at $4.50 or so."


Pierre

What do you use for glueing the linen to the panel? I can get a 4x8 of 1/4 mahogany for $13.00. what kind of linen do you use? 100% cotton? course of fine weave? Do you just use gesso as a glue?

So many questions, so many things to paint, so little time and so little money.

I'm always looking for ways to cut costs.

Thanks,
Don

Jim Webb
03-31-2004, 11:06 PM
I'm fortunate in having a park less than a five-minute walk from my home. I'm a bit handicapped with leg circulatory problems and so I carry all my painting gear in a pneumatic tired wagon I bought at Wal-Mart. The wagon is designed for the gardener but works well for my use. I carry my french easel, chair, supplies and a lunch. I adapted a black golfing umberella to provide shade. I also carry a cellular credit card taker that works very well in selling a painting to passing joggers. Joggers never carry much cash, but they do carry credit cards for the local Starbucks! At the end of the painting session, I clean my brushes, pallette and repack my gear. I store the loaded wagon in my garage till the next painting session. Warning! Our area of the country has a dense deer tick population and also West Nile virus. I make sure I have insect repellant and since I have a bad reaction to insect stings, an Epinephrine(automatic syringe)pen. All the preparations to go into the field is well worth the effort to follow my dream.......JW

dougbug
04-01-2004, 12:10 AM
If you have an easel that is too short. Just add 3 new legges - cut 6" or 12" PVC Pipe. Place over the legges of the easel and it's as tall as you want.
Doug

Renee Hawk
05-06-2004, 05:03 PM
Hi, I am new to the site, what a great forum!
I started WC painting again a year ago (after 20 year hiatus) and am starting a Plein Aire class at the local college this month. Exciting!!

:confused: Last week, on this site, I found a post with a photo & description of a black "sling" attached to the legs of the tripod, to hold a rock, etc to weight down in case of wind.
The sling looked like vinyl or leather. I can't find the post and would like to purchase one. Can you direct me?
Thanks,

Donald_Smith
05-06-2004, 11:59 PM
If you can find a short piece of rope, and take a small piece of canvas, you should be able to make something to put a rock or two in while the other end of the rope is tied to the tripod or easle to help stablize it in the wind.

anything will work as long as you can put a rock or two in it.

Best wishes,
Don

Renee Hawk
05-08-2004, 11:30 PM
Thanks Donald,
Not being very handy at the moment, I was looking for that post with the photo so I could ask the person where to buy the hammock type device. Maybe someone else has purchased one??? It is a triangular shape piece of leather or vinyl with straps to attach to the tripod legs. You put a big rock in it to weight down the easel in case of wind.
Thanks!!

Leafy
06-01-2004, 08:35 PM
Not being very handy at the moment, I was looking for that post with the photo so I could ask the person where to buy the hammock type device. Maybe someone else has purchased one??? It is a triangular shape piece of leather or vinyl with straps to attach to the tripod legs. You put a big rock in it to weight down the easel in case of wind.
Thanks!!

The only one that I know of is available ($19.95) from Guerilla Painter (www.pochade.com) and it's called 'tripod stone bag'....if that's any help.

Egon
06-02-2004, 02:49 AM
The only one that I know of is available ($19.95) from Guerilla Painter (www.pochade.com) and it's called 'tripod stone bag'....if that's any help.

Hi friends - The cheapest way is - a plastic waterbottle on a rope -
on hot places you can cover it with a wet towel - so you have cooled water to trink too

Renee Hawk
06-04-2004, 02:30 AM
Thanks everyone. I bought the "tripod stone bag" from Guerilla Painter, and it works just fine. Just completed day 6 of my 12 day Plein Air class....WOW, I am so exhausted (and happy) after 8 hours a day of painting....hard work, but worth it!! Glad I bought the umbrella from Sun Eden...we were at the beach and I really needed it!! :clap:

WTPDOSA
07-06-2004, 07:43 PM
Being a mendicant and quite fruggle, I keep with me a couple of plastic bags from the market, and when the wind blows I just fill one up with dirt or sand or rocks and hang it from my tripod on one of the knobs. Works great and doesn't cost a penny. I learned this trick from a fellow plein air student last week. The bags are also used for trash. Have fun!

Peace,

Tom

pinkbubelz
09-14-2004, 01:55 PM
Maybe an old pair of pantyhose might work as well? tie the 2 legs together and use the panty part to hold your bottle of water or big rock?

D J Lanzendorfer
09-14-2004, 04:24 PM
I live in California so every day is perfect weather, we don't need weights and bungee cords or even duct tape........

I used a pochade box for years and was happy with it until I took a class with T.M. Nicholaus to improve my plein air painting, (find out what I was doing wrong) He is from the East Coast and uses a take-it-easel, I got one and now that is all I use. It is the old Gloucester easel, from when plein air painting started in the USA. I was going to give you the link but it didn't come up so maybe you can run a search to find it. It is far superior to the french easel, I have two and don't like them. The down side with the take it easel is it is heavy, it weighs 12 pounds and the box I carry weighs about the same loaded, maybe a little more. On the positive side, I can paint any size painting at any angle, this is real nice because I don't need and umbrella. No umbrella means few problems in the wind, there is nothing that I know of to anchor an umbrella in the wind.

Happy Painting, DJ

frisbee1948
09-14-2004, 04:48 PM
Here's the link for the Take-it Easel.

http://www.takeiteasel.com/

LarrySeiler
11-07-2004, 10:35 AM
Forgive me for thinking this good, but having shared something like this multiple times over for artists new to plein air, I thought having one place like a sticky where it can be accessed...as a service or benefit for consideration...

So...let's say then that you are a new painter, or that you might even have many years accomplished experience as an artist....yet, you are new to efforts to paint plein air, or directly outdoors from nature...

...then, my interest is to encourage you...

For starters, don't expect to come away with a winner, or winners. Go, anticipating that painting outdoors directly will give you a unique opportunity to see and engage nature differently than before. An artist's eyes intensely observing is a form of intimacy and romancing whereby nature opens itself up to you in ways that many others are likely to miss out on.

If you go...anticipating to experience nature uniquely and more intimately, then the results will have absolutely no bearing upon your final analysis of its having been worthwhile.

If you enjoy the experience of so engaging nature...then painting will become a means to continue doing that for you.

In time...you will get a handle on better technique, better set up's that help you jump on the moment, and so forth. As you produce more and more, each time getting one thing down and somewhat behind you, you open your understanding to be able to take in more, expect more...see more, and execute more.

Still...always, you leave with the satisfaction of having experienced the unique opportunity to intimately engage the outdoors, and thus establish a pattern where you never have regrets.

If you go with the notion that a work made defines your abilities as an artist, being a good one...or a poor one, you then may well be setting yourself up for major frustration. Some, coming to the conclusion early on that painting from life simply shows how inept they are...are too discouraged to continue on long.

I often tell young artists that it takes about 120 bad paintings to know something about painting. Well....its not just about painting you will come to know something about, but you will learn much about yourself as well. Your level of resolve; power and strength to overcome impatience, your ability to establish long term goals and vision...and so forth.

So...to wrap up...go, anticipating that you will experience nature uniquely, and determine to enjoy that aspect more than anything else. Let the painting simply be what it is....a record that confirms you were there enjoying a specific point in time.

peace

Larry

BodaciousBon
11-26-2004, 04:21 AM
As another new to plein air, this thread has been amazingly helpful. I'm about to set off on a one month trip to Mexico and have been racking my brain to try to figure out how to take my oils AND pastels, as well as all the equipment necessary to paint wherever I choose. Not to mention packing it for the plane. I am busily exploring all of the lightweight equipment that has been mentioned on this thread. Thank you! Thank you!

Bonnie

Western Lass
01-30-2005, 02:18 PM
Another item for stabilizing the easel is a "stuff sack" -
a nylon bag with a drawstring top - filled with rocks, sand etc of sufficient weight.
EASEL - Being a frequent backcountry / hike-in painter I consider weight, stability and efficiency very important . Therefore I have retired my clunker "french" easel and now use a Sun-Eden set-up with portable shelf. Works great and the tent stakes make it very stable. However on rock, sand or shallow material a weighted bag or dead-man is necessary.
PAINT - I load my covered palette with plenty of paint and leave the tubes at home in the freezer- the palette is stored there as well. RAGS - Also I fold up 8 - 10 sheets of mechanics paper towels and pack them with me and leave the bulky rolls in the car.SURFACE - I paint on gessoed panels - plain gesso but soon to try sanded as well . The panels are much easier to pack and I like the ridgid surface.SAFETY - And finally , because I frequent the backcountry :cool: I carry map and compass,swiss knife,snacks etc. And I carry grizzly spray in a hip holster due to the presence of wild boar, bulls, mountian lions and most unfortunately; malicious people :mad:

Cestlavie
02-05-2005, 01:20 PM
It was very interesting reading all of your messages. I use a wooden folding easel (brand: MABEF, model M/27.M/28.M/29). I stapled a strong ribbon (a strap) on one side of the wood so I can carry the easel pending from my soulder. Check out www.mabef.it. It's an Italian easel very well made. It can be used vertical or flat (for watercolor), and you can also stack your wet painting once your plein air session end (In this case you would not be able to carry it on your shoulders). I also went to a sport store at the fishing department and bought a folding chair for fishermen. It fold, it has two handles, under the chair you can put, pens, pencils, rags, rubber gloves, etc... on the side there are plenty of pockets to put your tubes of paint. Happy painting to all!

Gubster Bug
02-05-2005, 04:04 PM
I notice a lot of folks sit when they paint.
For years I sat when I painted. I noticed several things as a result. Since I have bifocals, I was often lifting chin to look at the picture-- bad for my neck issues. I was often standing, either to stretch or to move back from the picture to see how the whole was coming together-- bad for my knee issues. (If you're thinking I've got orthopedic issues, you'd be right. Almost everywhere in my late-middle-aged frame.) Also, I had to schlep around a chair of some sort, but if the chair didn't have a good back support-- you've probably figured this one out. What to do?
The only thing I could come up with is to stand while I paint. Once I began to stand, I found that knees, hips, spine, neck and shoulders all felt much better. Also, after a while I found my energy level and enthusiasm stayed higher longer.
I was quite surprised, actually. More energy, better concentration, less aching, more mobility around the easel, and my brushwork improved.
I know that not everyone can stand, but if it's a near thing, give it a try. It works for me. I can always go back to sitting later, when I can't stand no more!

hiphop
02-21-2005, 12:03 PM
this thread was made for me! how do you folks carry water colors? my palette is usually very wet and some of the mixes i get on the way to the site are interesting to say the least! i've tried specimen jars (lee valley) with clear lids and it was too tiny and time consuming, but then i thought, maybe just squeez out the amounts i will need... ?

also... i, too, have the stanrite easel and have adapted a couple of aluminum bars to hold the palette at any height on the legs. this helps if i want to stand and paint. if anyone's interested... let me know.

p.s. thanks for all the "greetings"

Pars
02-21-2005, 12:16 PM
Hi,

I was just re-reading my "Trumpetvine Travels" - a little zine for watercolour sketchers written by Martha McEvoy. You can see her work here (http://www.trumpetvine.com) and it made me think of your question(s).

I travel with my watercolour in a 18-well palette, with assorted brands of squeezed tube paint, they are not wet but dried overnight. I take the palette, some brushes, the retractable and travel sizes, and a watercolour sketchbook and/or a pad and off I go.

I've done this locally and as far off as Sicily. But, basically I am doing rather small pieces and they don't require much.

I have thought about more equipment: pochades, easels, etc, but will probably stick with this little pack, plus a collapsible chair for now.

rr113
03-09-2005, 04:30 PM
As a former range officer, I would recommend against carrying a hand gun for protection.

First of all, they are only accurate at very short range, point blank to be specific. Secondly, to be anywhere near accurate and in condition to use when needed continual practice use is necessary. Are you really going to spend time at the range? If you are going to shoot someone, unfortunately it's best to kill him/her. As the saying goes, you don't want to just make them angry. Particularly if they, too, have a weapon, or if they can take your weapon away from you. And the other saying is: you want only one story told to the police. You know that the other person is going to claim you jumped them and shot him for his wallet. Then there are the laws, different in each state, governing when you can shoot someone. In New York State it is only when there is "deadly force" being used against you (that is a deadly weapon -- a knife qualifies only under some conditions) and you cannot run away (you don't have to run away in your own home.) Then where are you going to store this gun? Basically you have to wear it all the time when you're painting. You can't leave it in the glove box of the car. Suppose you have children. Where are you going to keep it at home?

I'm in favor of dogs, cell phones, and bear spray.

Richard

shannonsart
01-19-2006, 07:50 AM
:D I went on my first plein air last year with the Indiana Plein air Painters on a paint out to Indiana dunes. It was wonderful to meet all of the artist but it was disasterous for me. I took way to much junk and not enough of the right equipment. My paint dried as quickly as it hit the canvas and couldn't move it around at all. "Acrylics" I got attacked by sand flys but thankfully a fellow artist had brought bug spray. I never did get a painting out of the trip but learned alot and had so much fun talking art with some great artist from all over. I will enjoy this forum as I plan to try again this year except first on my own so maybe I won't look so rediculous next time knowing what to take and not to take. Your forum will be very helpful.
One thing I heard about from the President of IPAPA was night painting on location. They took off with flash lights wrapped around their necks to paint. They said they do it all the time as it shows light in a different way. Their paintings were really interesting with the night effects.

shannonsart
01-19-2006, 08:05 AM
:D Can you plein air pros please post a list of items that you take so us that want to try plein air can sift through several of you alls preferred items to take. I tried it last year with IPAPA on a paint out and I took way to much, not enough of some things and never did get a painting done as my paint dried to quick, I loved it though and am going to try it again just am going to go with less but more, hopefully.

Yorky
01-19-2006, 08:13 AM
For watercolor PA tackle, see the two articles in the Watercolor Handbook:

Field Kits Part 1 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=318468)
Field Kits Part 2 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=318471)

Doug

DLGardner
01-25-2006, 10:56 PM
I've got my things down pretty tight. Here's what I take
My pochade box in a back pack
My tripod in its own bag
A bag to carry my canvas. This doubles as my wet canvas carrier. (I don't do panels yet)
An old ammunition box with a few paints, thinner, copal medium and rubbing alcohol (for hands and palette).
Paper towels go in my back pack as well as do the brushes.

I fix my palette before I go with the colors I will be using. I've been using a limited palette so this is a real easy set up.
That's it...well, I do bring a thermos of hot tea, a lunch bag and my purse and all these things fit into my backpack.

Dianne

JamieWG
01-25-2006, 11:37 PM
:D Can you plein air pros please post a list of items that you take so us that want to try plein air can sift through several of you alls preferred items to take.

For what medium, Shannon?

Jamie

shannonsart
01-27-2006, 05:05 PM
For what medium, Shannon?

JamieI'm going to try oils I think as the acrylics dried to fast in the hot sun. The other Plein aire painters said that even if you add retarder to the acylics to not dry as quickly it is still tough. They said on hot days as we had that time even oils can get sticky but at least I wouldn't have what I had last time one swipe of the brush and it was like glue and clumped. I'm looking forward to a better start this year come good weather and I have my self esteem glued back together. lol I'm going to go alone at first this time so I won't feel any pressure until I get comfortable.

colinpage
01-29-2006, 11:45 PM
I go out painting on site almost every day in the summer and when Maine weather permits for the rest of the year. I paint in oils and bring a pretty sparse set up with me so that I can walk a bit and look around when I'm heading out to paint. The less involved your set up is, the less likely you are to forget something. Here's my list, for what it's worth.

Jullian french easel (a worthwhile headache)
inside is palette and 7 or 8 tubes of paint (I always use these limited colors to keep things simple. Plus you can mix about anything with the right ones.)
Backpack with brushes, maybe up to 10 brushes but I only ever use 3. Extras brushes are there for backups. Brushes are wrapped in a rag to keep them safe during travel, and usually I have another rag or two as backups. (Rags are just old cotton shirts... or whatever's kicking around) Also in backpack is turpenoid in an old peanut butter jar. This isn't an ideal container cause it can leak if tipped over and could break, but that hasn't happened to me yet and I do this often. Canvases are either hooked onto the easel for travel and/or carried in my spare hand.
Non painting related items that I try to remember are sunscreen, natural bug repellant, water, and a light lunch. All of this easily fits in the back pack and adds little weight. Ohyeah, and business cards. I've actually sold a couple of paintings to people I meet when painting.

Go out somewhere close to home the first time or two so it's not going to waste a day if you forget something. I also always wear a hat and pay very close attention to temperature and the weather forecasts (for the little bit they're worth!) when getting dressed. Good Luck next time!!

JamieWG
01-30-2006, 07:39 AM
I'm going to try oils I think as the acrylics dried to fast in the hot sun. The other Plein aire painters said that even if you add retarder to the acylics to not dry as quickly it is still tough. They said on hot days as we had that time even oils can get sticky but at least I wouldn't have what I had last time one swipe of the brush and it was like glue and clumped. I'm looking forward to a better start this year come good weather and I have my self esteem glued back together. lol I'm going to go alone at first this time so I won't feel any pressure until I get comfortable.

Shannon, here's a link to an article I wrote on a light-weight setup that contained everything I needed:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/13766/399/

I've tweaked my setup and changed some things since then, but it should give you a good basic list for oil painting.

Jamie

mcdougal
03-04-2006, 04:36 PM
I can't begin to tell you guys, how helpful this thread has been. I have "hit the wall", in my ability/desire to lug my french box around. I like it when it is set up, and I am working (very stable) - but have become increasingly less nimble with the tightening screws and sheer weight. All contributers to this thread, are so incredibly generous with your ideas, links and photos. A million thanks.

Question: I am lookin for some opinions, on this pochade-type box (mounted on a camera tripod). It is called the Art AttackI.
http://www.willowwispfarmstudios.com/pages/painting%20systems.html

I have looked at a number of the set-ups/sources, that have been shared by others here; e.g. Open BoxM, EasyL, ArtboxandPanel, Soltek (yike$), Swivel Easel, Valpod, and SunEden, etc. Thank you to all, who have shared their experience or opinions on these set-ups.

I was hoping for something light-weight, with a lot of palette space. And a mast (panel/canvas holder), that allows unimpeded brush work, at the bottom of the panel. I was hoping for something like a French Companion (By Academy), that could be "quick-mounted" on a tripod, and that had a panel/canvas mast, that "flipped up" (from where I have no idea). The plein air set-up at Willow Wisp, seems close.

Would greatly value your opinions about this box.
Best regards to all.

dreamz
03-04-2006, 10:54 PM
I don't need to go anywhere to be "plein air" most of the year I work outside under a pole and tarp "carport" and since I like working on a horizontal surface a garden table serves well. I prefer to capture scenes with a camera or a quick sketch and paint at home. I do have a travel setup thats convenient when doing decoritive paintings on cabinets, car windows etc. A large tackle boxes compartments hold bottles of paint and brushes with a roll of paper towels, larger brushes, masking tape, coffee can lid pallettes and water container fitting in the bottom.

Bon-Bon
03-26-2006, 04:28 AM
Hi Everyone, thank you for sharing your helpful ideas.


One thing I heard about from the President of IPAPA was night painting on location. They took off with flash lights wrapped around their necks to paint. They said they do it all the time as it shows light in a different way. Their paintings were really interesting with the night effects.

Shannon, I wonder why the IPAPA people don't use headlights instead of flash lights wrapped around their necks. Headlights leave you completely handsfree and the light shines wherever you look. Much easier! :cat:

WTPDOSA
02-02-2008, 04:13 PM
I've come up with a use for all those sleeves from the Patriot's Bill Belichek like sweatshirts. By all means, don't throw them away. They make great cleaners for your painting knives and or brushes. As you paint, just rotate the sleeve for a clean place to wipe your knife of brush. If your like me, using water miscible oils, just rinse them when you get home and throw them into the washing machine. They can be reused over and over again.

Here's a picture of one in action...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Feb-2008/44140-DSCN1301.JPG

Sure saves on paper-towels and trees.:thumbsup:

Keenataz
02-05-2008, 12:52 PM
Genius! Sheer genius!:thumbsup:
Now if only I could get my hubby to cut his sleeves....

bostonartist
02-20-2008, 08:45 PM
Very good thread.....I am looking forward to the up coming season for Plein Air painting.
Here is my list of equipment that I use.

Full French easel, I customized it so a french mistress attaches to the front so I do not have bring a folding table for the mistress.

Canvas carry bag filled with 200mil tubes. I use a limited pallet so you are talking about 8 tubes max and a can of turps, andbrushes

No canvas carrier, I use my french easel

Long sleeve shirts and pants....I paint 6 mos a year in New England and the other 6 mos in the Philippines. Here in the States I worry about deer ticks so plenty of bug spray and in the PH I look out for the NPA Gorillas and I do not mean the primate type.

Paper towel or rags, perfer rags and always have a trash bag.

Thats about it....usally I will start ether in the early AM or after 3 PM. Will work 4-5 hours on location and then finish up at night. Once I get going I will avg. a painting a day

IMaybe
03-26-2008, 03:53 PM
:heart: for the last 4 years, I have been plein-air painting in w/c! I love it so much, and as I am new to almost all of this, it was very hard at first. I have found that if you pack a special back-pack, or carring bag with just your plein-air stuff, and keep it together at all times cuts out the possiblity of leaving things home! At first, I tried to take to much stuff of corse, so now I have a set palette of colors that work well for the area I am going to, and may change if I change where I am heading. I think of this before hand. And I use to take a big drawing board for my paper! Not anymore! Both to heavy, and to much to cover. No, now I paint much smaller when I am going out on site-, and use the expriance to gather information. Like the light early in the morning, or pine-trees, or sky, or something, take my digital also and take pictures all around me. And the size I try to paint is small. This helps me with compostion, and leaving things out of the scene. Distilling to the very thing I am after. At least, thats what I tell myself! But it has helped--I use 5x7 and 4x6 if I am hiking a long ways. Nearer to my car, say, I can use bigger papers, and even an easel! And always begin with a value sketch, always. Now I am working more in Pastel, and love it---but need to learn how to take a smaller palette to make things lighter carrying! Its all so fun. Any suggestions? Thanks.

purple35
05-01-2008, 11:36 PM
To avoid bugs and especially ants, before I start painting I spray the ground where I will be standing with a natural pesticide. To avoid the gnats and mosquitoes, I also spray a little on my hair. If I am eating lunch, I always make it a point to not eat in the same area where I paint.

lucas mccaine
11-05-2012, 02:19 PM
hi everyone ,im not sure if this is the right thread ,so please excuse me ,but my question is ,when is to much stuff? for instance, the easel and whatever you put in it ,tripod (where applicable),paper towel,should be enough right? as you can tell i am a newbie so im looking for some help here ,thanks guys for any help you can give me ,take care

Yorky
11-05-2012, 03:18 PM
If you read through the thread Lucas, I think you have it covered.

These days I carry everything in a small washbag - a Cotman Pocket Plus palette, a Pentel waterbrush, pencil, eraser and a 7x5 sketchbook.

Doug

lucas mccaine
11-05-2012, 07:04 PM
thanks yorky it took me a while ,but got it thanks again ,im afraid ill be asking a whole bunch more of questions ,be patient ,thanks again

Rocket Jones
11-23-2012, 07:46 PM
For those who use weighted items to keep their tripod or easel from tipping in wind or uneven ground, here's a tip that backpackers use: Take along the mesh bags that onions come in, and fill with rocks if needed. Empty they're weightless, they're tough, flexible enough to tie around something if needed, plus it's nice to give a second use to something plastic we too often throw away.

Backpackers? We put a rock in a small piece to throw a line over a tree branch to hang our food out of reach of bears, and scrunched up they make a dandy scrubber for dishes. :)

Bibi Snelderwaard
12-13-2012, 06:27 PM
Great tips! I've just discovered plein air painting this year and I'm loving it. I have all the right equipment (that works for me) but I've run into a little problem. I want to continue throughout the winter and though I have good warm clothes and boots, I can't seem to find gloves that keep my fingers warm. I'm already used to wearing gloves when painting so I don't mind wearing thick gloves, as long as they keep my fingers from freezing, but all the regular fleece and wool gloves, even when wearing my work gloves over neath them, do not do the job. I've read about heated gloves that also keep the fingers warm but the customer reviews aren't very promising. I've tried those grabber warmers but these are far from ideal because when I put them in my gloves the heat doesn't reach my fingers, so I was hoping that somebody on this forum knows of good gloves? I've been looking at glacier gloves and heritage extreme winter gloves but they're pretty expensive and I'd rather hear the experiences from fellow plein air artists.

CherinHT
01-12-2013, 11:17 PM
You might want to try using a Bounce Sheet to repel bugs. We use it at Farmer's Markets and they work wonders! Cherin from Canada

Myah
01-19-2013, 01:58 AM
I have never seen a box like this. Do you know what it was intended for? That would help me to know where to look for one.

Thanks, Myah

Woops, I put this in the wrong place!

Jo Reimer
02-27-2013, 02:36 AM
You might visit a store that sells ski clothing. They'll have warm gloves.

Yorky
03-26-2013, 06:35 AM
Incidentally all my plein air kit fits in a 10x6 document case, the sketchbook and palette in the main compartment and the rest in the side pocket. When possible I also carry a McLaren Gadabout folding chair.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Mar-2013/1046-PleinAirKit.jpg

Heather Dewick sketch book with clips against the wind,
Cotman Pocket Plus palette,
Pentel waterbrush,
Ruler,
Lamy Safari pen with Noodler's ink,
Signo white gel pen (a new addition),
Propelling pencils,
Pitt pen for when the Lamy runs out.

Doug

horsthh
03-30-2013, 01:02 AM
Thanks for posting, very compact.

rosies01
08-29-2013, 11:32 PM
I started plein air painting with a group this summer. We paint every Tuesday in a different location in White Rock B.C. For the first 2 months I used Golden Open acrylics on canvas panels. They stayed wet and were great for blending for about 2 hours.Recently I have started using pan pastels on pastel mattboard. They are great and make it easy to catch the essence of the scene quicker as you don't have to mix colors as much. Large sponges get color on quickly to block in big shapes. Then I use sponge applicators. You can layer colors to get the right tone. I'm sticking to 8x10 inch paper so that I can frame it easily for shows.

wyncia
07-09-2014, 12:37 PM
While traveling I met a plein air painter who set up for watercolor with with a sort of stand to support her mounted paper. She worked from a portable stool. The stand was made from 3(?) pieces of board (regular foam board?) slotted so that 2 were "legs" and one connected the legs. The result was a very light weight support for her work, designed at a slight angle.

I want to create a similar thing. Has anyone heard of it?

She said it is what she has always used (she is 87 years of age!) I think she started using when she studied with Henry Hensche long ago.

Thanks, Wyncia

JamieWG
07-09-2014, 06:05 PM
While traveling I met a plein air painter who set up for watercolor with with a sort of stand to support her mounted paper. She worked from a portable stool. The stand was made from 3(?) pieces of board (regular foam board?) slotted so that 2 were "legs" and one connected the legs. The result was a very light weight support for her work, designed at a slight angle.

I want to create a similar thing. Has anyone heard of it?

She said it is what she has always used (she is 87 years of age!) I think she started using when she studied with Henry Hensche long ago.

Thanks, Wyncia

Wyncia, I'd love to make something like that --- light and easy to hike with! If you try to make something, please do show us. I need a lighter watercolor setup for quarter sheet size, and I'm always eager for new ideas.

Jamie

leahwiedemer
07-17-2014, 06:21 PM
I just stumbled on this great thread and have learned a lot already. Thanks all for sharing your experience. I've been using a french easel but it is a bit bulky to lug around if I have to walk very far to my location. I'm thinking of getting a SunEden pochade box. http://www.sun-eden.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=361&ParentCat=1

Has anyone used this? How do you like it. I was going to try to attach it to a tripod I already have but I'm not sure that will work.
Thanks for your help.

JamieWG
07-17-2014, 07:13 PM
I just stumbled on this great thread and have learned a lot already. Thanks all for sharing your experience. I've been using a french easel but it is a bit bulky to lug around if I have to walk very far to my location. I'm thinking of getting a SunEden pochade box. http://www.sun-eden.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=361&ParentCat=1

Has anyone used this? How do you like it. I was going to try to attach it to a tripod I already have but I'm not sure that will work.
Thanks for your help.

Once you add a tripod to that one you're already at around 7 pounds, and that doesn't even include the weight of your panels, paints, brushes, wet panel carrier, drinking water, bug spray, etc. I love this one by Sun Eden: http://sun-eden.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=327&ParentCat=1. It's the lightest setup I've been able to find that also allows me to paint any size, though I'm always open to trying something even lighter if one comes along! Although it's really light, it comes with ground stakes in case it's windy, and they work great on days when you need them. If you need a setup that enables you to travel very light, I highly recommend that Oil Painter's Package - 200. I've been using it for several years when I have to hike somewhere.

leahwiedemer
07-17-2014, 08:01 PM
Thanks so much Jamie! I like the idea of a super light set up.

Jeroen
05-24-2015, 07:10 AM
Hi there,

I am thinking of doing some outdoor painting, preferably oil or maybe acrylics.

I don't think I'll be painting next to the booth of my car, so I was wondering: how do you guys get a wet painting home without damaging it?

Thanks, Jeroen

Jeroen
05-24-2015, 07:14 AM
Ah, found the thread to the DIY wet pannel carriers. Sorry :D

SAS Designs
05-26-2015, 01:42 PM
Advice for a very light weight folding chair with good back support? I've had back surgery, and can't use just the little stool anymore. I started a thread for this in WaterColor, but no one had anything to suggest except the canvas camping chairs, which don't have a firm seat.
thanks if you can think of anything. The other thread, from 2008 has outdated links.
You'd think, with all the emphasis on Urban Sketching - there would be a good folding chair. katherine Tyrrell on her blog, has one, 20 years old, not make anymore.
Suzy

Aligator
05-26-2015, 03:13 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-May-2015/985441-102_2513.JPG

May not be as firm as you want but it is light and very sturdy.

SAS Designs
05-26-2015, 06:37 PM
Noticed many coleman's on Amazon, not getting good reviews for "support" -
I'm thinking I may just stick with my old standby, which has been sitting on a pillow leading against a stone wall - but the ticks are out in FORCE around here, so I was hoping to get off the ground ;)
I did see something called an Eskimo Ice Fishing Chair that might have possibilities.
Then there is the Gorilla Buddy - best price on Dakota, but really don't need the pack, or the wheels, well, one would on this cuz it weighs 10 lbs.
Will keep looking.
Virgil ( sling paint) had the best one from Hammacher Schlemmer - not made anymore - seems to be the case with so many good little chairs?
suzy