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Old 01-25-2001, 12:43 PM
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LDianeJohnson LDianeJohnson is offline
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Post Plein Air Tips

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
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Old 01-25-2001, 02:00 PM
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LDianeJohnson LDianeJohnson is offline
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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 !

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

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Old 01-25-2001, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
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



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Old 01-25-2001, 07:24 PM
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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 . 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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Old 01-25-2001, 07:59 PM
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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
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Old 01-25-2001, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
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.
Cheryl




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Old 01-25-2001, 08:24 PM
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Yikes! That sounds rough
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Old 01-26-2001, 01:20 AM
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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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Old 01-26-2001, 01:30 AM
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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
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Old 01-26-2001, 10:24 AM
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4vincent 4vincent is offline
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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
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Old 01-26-2001, 12:01 PM
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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
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Old 01-26-2001, 03:47 PM
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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
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Old 01-26-2001, 04:11 PM
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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
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Old 01-26-2001, 08:49 PM
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Marilee Marilee is offline
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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
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Old 01-27-2001, 05:10 AM
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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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