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LDianeJohnson
01-25-2001, 11:43 AM
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

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

LDianeJohnson
01-25-2001, 01:00 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, 03:14 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



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Jeff G.

paintfool
01-25-2001, 06:24 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

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paintfool

LDianeJohnson
01-25-2001, 06:59 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, 07:18 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




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paintfool

LDianeJohnson
01-25-2001, 07:24 PM
Yikes! That sounds rough http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

blondheim12
01-26-2001, 12:20 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

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

Gisele
01-26-2001, 12:30 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, 09:24 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, 11:01 AM
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

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

gill
01-26-2001, 02:47 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, 03:11 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

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

Marilee
01-26-2001, 07:49 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, 04:10 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

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"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, 04:57 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

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

blondheim12
01-27-2001, 07:46 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

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

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

LDianeJohnson
01-27-2001, 02:49 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
01-27-2001, 11:23 PM
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, 01:33 AM
dj,,,,bring duct tape to tape the easel to the earth.....{M}

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

paintfool
01-28-2001, 01:34 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

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paintfool

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

paintfool
01-28-2001, 11:14 PM
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



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paintfool

Marilee
01-29-2001, 11:44 PM
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, 12:36 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, 08:38 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, 02:42 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?


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Rosemarie

LDianeJohnson
02-26-2001, 03:06 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


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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, 06:16 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, 07:05 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, 07:24 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, 07:55 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, 08:34 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, 10:53 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

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paintfool

LDianeJohnson
06-11-2001, 04:24 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

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

Reye
06-12-2001, 12:52 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
jeyer@worldnet.att.net

Reye
06-12-2001, 11:08 AM
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 <Tobin.Nadeau@Mail.Trincoll.Edu>
His address is Tobin Nadeau, 259 Tonset Rd., Orleans, MA 02653. Let me know if I can help.
Jerry

Reye
06-12-2001, 11:30 AM
For some reason the e-mail address did not come up in the above but Tobin.Nadeau@Mail.Trilcoll.Edu
for the easel.
Jerry

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

LDianeJohnson
06-13-2001, 06:06 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

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

Geeky2
06-19-2001, 12:13 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, 04:19 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




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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, 01:59 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, 09:30 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, 02:34 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, 02:42 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, 12:11 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, 09:21 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, 02:24 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, 12:46 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, 06:50 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, 11:26 AM
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, 01:30 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, 01:55 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, 10:08 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, 01:45 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, 08:50 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, 01:41 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, 01:54 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, 01:46 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, 08:06 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, 08:09 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, 08:48 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, 03:18 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, 03:54 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, 06:08 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, 07:50 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, 08:36 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