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$6.95 U.S. 8.95 CAN.
Plein Air Heritage
Edward Henry Potthast (1857-1927)

Sketching on the Beach

Edward Henry Potthast
1896, watercolor over blue pencil on paper
mounted on board, 11 x 13 7/8 in.
Collection the Cincinnati Art Museum,
Gift of the Artist, 1925.74

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Impressionist painters helped artists there at work than bathers in or out of the water,” Wessel wrote to
to stimulate international interest in plein air painting, especially his friend Edward H. Potthast.
in American vacation spots in Indiana, California, New York, and Potthast made this unfinished watercolor sketch of a fellow painter
Massachusetts. The shoreline communities on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, during one of his many visits to the beach in Gloucester. He always
became so popular with outdoor painters that in 1916 Herman H. welcomed the opportunity to escape the summer heat in New York, meet
Wessel (1878-1969) observed that there were more than 700 artists hometown friends from Cincinnati, and make sketches for his popular
working in Gloucester. “I went to Bass Rock beach, and there were more paintings of bathers on the beach. / August-September 2014 3

B. Eric Rhoads
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4 August-September 2014 /

“Afternoon Luncheon” 32x46

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6 August-September 2014 /

Specializing in Early California Art for over forty years

Ben Messick (1891-1981) Wladimir de Terlikowski (1873-1951)

Women Drying Laundry Floral Still Life with Shell
Oil on Canvas, 10 x 8 in. Oil on Canvas, 18 x 13 in.

Small Gems 2014

Alfred Mitchell (1888-1972) Elsie Palmer Payne (1884-1971)

In Golden Light, San Diego, CA Monument Valley
Oil on Board, 16 x 20.5 in. Oil on Canvas on Board, 16 x 20 in.

8920 Melrose Avenue

West Hollywood, CA 90069
(P) 310.276.2600 (F) 310.276.2622
3 Plein Air Heritage 19 Classic Moment
10 Publisher’s Letter 79 New Products
Why Plein Air Painting Is 114 Painters Painted
the New Golf
16 Editor’s Note
Finding Your Style

Expanded Digital Edition Content

Plein Air Adventures Artist Profile Plein Air Collaboration
Kirk Richards: Painting Memories & Don Marek: Thinking Abstractly, 6 Artists + 6 Canvases = 1 Painting
Fading Light in a Texas Canyon Painting Realistically
By M. Stephen Doherty


Painting Outdoor Still Lifes Richard Sneary: From Architectural
By M. Stephen Doherty Illustrator to Plein Air Painter
Anne Ward: Painting Changing Light Bob Beck: Paintings to Hang in Your Home
30 HISTORIC INFLUENCES John Pototschnik: A Gentle Narrative
Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009): New
Exhibition Highlights Wyeth’s Windows 62 PASTEL PAINTING DEMONSTRATION
Cliffton Austin: Having Fun While
33 ARTIST PROFILE Working Hard
Nancy Tankersley: Painting a Greater
John Hughes: Warming the Colors
of a Landscape
One Artist and His Patrons
42 ARTIST PROFILE PleinAir Salon Selections,
Anne Blair Brown: Blessed and Publisher’s Invitational, More
Treasured Past (detail)
Anne Blair Brown
2014, oil, 48 x 48 in.
Collection the artist

8 August-September 2014 /

A Visual, Performing & Culinary Arts Celebration
SEPTEMBER 3-14, 2014

Joshua Tobey

Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey

publisher’s letter

Why Plein Air Painting

Is the New Golf
funny thing happens when you reach Though being a “Sunday painter” is more than 60,000 plein air painters in America
your 50s or 60s. You realize you’ve enough for most, some find the challenge of alone. Interest appears to be growing at a rapid
spent your life working, and suddenly getting good enough to be in plein air shows, pace, and PleinAirr magazine is number 108
you’re interested in exploring your creative side. galleries, and events a new career. What a great among all 5,000-plus magazines on the news-
For some, it’s photography, woodworking, or retirement income: You get paid for doing what stands at Barnes & Noble. I think it’s a real
jewelry-making. For me, it’s painting. you love! Though I’m not the type to retire, I trend: More and more people are discovering
Many of my friends have reached that do see myself painting more and earning part of the joy of plein air painting every day, enjoying
point in their lives where they want to see the
world, spend more time with friends and less  Painting the High Falls during the
time working, get outdoors as much as pos- recent PleinAir Publisher’s Invitational
sible, and use the creative side that has been on in the Adirondack Mountains; photo by
hold for most of their careers. Some are retired, Turner Vinson
others are simply taking more personal time.
And many, even those who have been lifelong
golfers, don’t see their future spending more
time on the greens.
I’ve suggested before that plein air painting
is the “new golf.” Yet it provides so much more.

Think about the plein air lifestyle:

• You’re challenged daily and continually
• You’re exercising your personal creativity.
• You’re outdoors getting exercise, yet you
don’t have to be under physical stress.
• You can travel the world to paint beautiful
• You can meet new friends and have a fulfill-
ing social life through painting. my living as a painter. I’ve already got a toe in the outdoors whether alone or with friends,
the water. working to improve their skills, or just taking
Though plein air painting doesn’t requiree be- As long as their eyesight holds out, most part for the sheer love of it. And that is why I
ing an aging baby boomer — and all age groups people can paint outdoors till their last breath. think plein air is the new golf.
should be encouraged to paint en plein airr — it’s Ray Strong (1905-2006) of Santa Barbara,
a great option we should be sharing with our California, painted at age 100 from his wheel-
friends who want to be outdoors, challenged, and chair and made a point of getting outdoors
creative. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, every day. He attributed his long life to his
there are 76 million baby boomers in the U.S. interest in being challenged by painting. My
today, representing about one-quarter of the U.S. friend the legendary Russian master Yuri Ku-
population. Most reject the idea that they are gah (1917-2013) painted outdoors daily until
becoming “senior citizens” and want to remain his death at age 96.
active and explore their creativity. Plein air paint- Look at how interest in our craft is blos- E-mail:
ing is the perfect alternative for those who don’t soming. It may be a coincidence, but hundreds Phone: 512.607.6423
fancy themselves as golfers, or who find that golf of new plein air events and shows have taken Facebook: /ericrhoads
doesn’t satisfy their creative impulse. off
ff since we’ve launched. We estimate there are Twitter: @ericrhoads

10 August-September 2014 /


A Hint of Spring 20 x 16, oil on linen

Mountain Country Autumn 16 x 20, oil on canvas Summer Drama 18 x 24, oil on linen
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en plein air
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Join America’s plein air community May 1-11, 2015 along Florida’s Forgotten Coast. Celebrate 10 years
of artistic excellence as many of America’s finest plein air artists gather to honor and preserve this
last vestige of “Old Florida.” The anniversary event will feature award winning plein air artists,
noted speakers, and master instructors along with expanded exhibits, a Collectors’ Forum,
a Masters Gallery, and 10 days packed with opportunities to engage with plein air artist and enthusiasts.

For more information, visit or call 800-378-8419

Santa Fe, NM

Plein Air Artists

Colorado 18th
Annual National
Juried Exhibition
“Cold and Getting Colder,” oil on board, 18 x 24 in.

Plein Air Artists Colorado 18th Annual National Juried Exhibition

August 9th through 30th
Judge of Awards: Karen Vance, PAAC Master Signature Member

Friday, August 8th

All Member Paint Out
around Boulder, Colorado
Sponsored by: PleinAir

Saturday, August 9th

Opening Reception and
Awards Ceremony Debra Joy Groesser Magic Hour oil 10x20”

5pm to 8pm
at Abend Gallery
Cliff Austin Breath of Spring oil 16x20”

2260 E Colfax Ave
Denver CO 80206
Gallery hours: Tues-Sat, 10am to 6pm
303-355-0950 or 800-288-3726
Kim English Plains of Colorado oil 7x12”


Littleton, CO Merritt Island, FL
“Reflections in Blues,” oil, 16 x 20 in.

Monte Vista, CO
“Down by the River,” oil, 30 x 24 in.


Ralston, NE
“I Can See Estes From Here!,” oil, 12 x 16 in.
“Magic Hour,” oil, 10 x 20 in.
editor’s note

Finding Your Style

Painting along Skyline Drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

he company I worked for in the 1990s conducted research to I remembered all those discussions about style as I was writing and
determine the topics that artists would most like to read about in editing the articles for this issue of PleinAir. Several of the people I inter-
art magazines and books. Drawing always came out near the top viewed found their personal style by learning as much as they could from
of the list, along with color mixing and the techniques used by popular other artists — past and present — and sifting that information down to
artists who worked in oil, watercolor, and pastel. But one surprising the methods that might be most useful to them.
topic suggested by the respondents was style, or an identifiable look that Bob Beck (page 53) explained that he saw one gallery exhibition
distinguishes an artist’s paintings. of Russian Impressionist paintings and knew he wanted to learn how to
The editors at the company scratched their heads to determine ex- work with oil colors in a similar manner. Anne Blair Brown (page 42)
actly what information could fill a six-page article or a 144-page book on also had a strong response to paintings created with bold brushwork that
the elusive subject of personal style. We weren’t sure how to show people allowed viewers to explore their own imagination. Anne Ward (page 24)
a method to discover their own voices. Did the survey respondents want was captivated by the way Fairfield Porter incorporated the people and
to know how to paint in a historically significant style, like impression- landscape of his immediate surroundings into his paintings to add more
ism, expressionism, or photographic realism? Or were they seeking help personal content.
to develop their own unique way of painting that didn’t have obvious It’s clear there isn’t one article or book that can effectively teach art-
connections to the work of well-known painters? ists how to establish a unique form of expression. That has to come from
Our best response to that survey was to develop magazine articles a wide range of instruction and inspiration, as well as through a personal
and books on individual artists who had a distinctive style of painting journey of exploration and self-discovery. That’s something the artists
that others might want to emulate. That worked well in commissioning featured in this issue are prepared to offer.
books and articles that brought in sales and subscriptions, but the editors
always wondered if they were nurturing individual forms of expression M. STEPHEN DOHERTY
or just cloning popular artists. Were readers understanding and respond- Editor-in-Chief
ing to the core motivations behind the paintings of David A. Leffel, John
Howard Sanden, Jeanne Dobie, or Maxine Masterfield, or were they
simply copying that artwork without adding something of themselves?

16 August-September 2014 /

classic moment

Rex Brandt (1914-2000)

current exhibition at the Laguna Art Museum in
California reminds us of the plein air watercolor
Rex Brandt teaches a plein air watercolor
class in 1955. Photo courtesy painters who taught generations of artists through their workshops, classes, books, and videos. Among the most
influential of those artists was Rex Brandt, a California native
whose painting style was strongly influenced by the abstract
artist Hans Hofmann (1880-1966). Brandt studied with two of
Hofmann’s protégés and developed a way of painting directly
from nature that blended the energy of abstract expressionism
with the specificity of realism.
Rex Brandt: In Praise of Sunshine is currently on view
at the Laguna Art Museum (until September 21, 2014) and
includes approximately 50 of the artist’s paintings. The show is
accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue. The title
of the exhibition comes from one of Brandt’s published state-
ments, from 1991, in which he acknowledged sunshine as the
essential theme of his long career. He wrote, “Whether we are
conscious of it or not, everything in the perceived world is in
motion. Sunshine is the mediator, a pervasive quality in which
things are lost and found, emerge and recede....”

July Morning, Dory Fleet

1982, watercolor on paper, 22 x 30 in.
Private collection

Balboa Ferry Sunday

Rex Brandt
1972, watercolor, 22 x 30 in.
Private collection / August-September 2014 19

painting from nature

Painting Outdoor Still Lifes

n this issue we offer a sampling of still life
paintings that artists created outdoors,
facing the same challenges — and oppor-
tunities — associated with painting any other
subject outdoors. The experience gave these
painters a different perception of values, colors,
shapes, and edges, and it required them to
make quick decisions about how to record those
perceptions on canvas or paper.
Outdoor Still Life is one of the categories
of awards in the PleinAir Salon bimonthly
competition ( If you
also paint still lifes outdoors, enter your work
in the next competition and become eligible to
compete for the $21,000 in cash and merchan-
dise prizes that will be presented at the Plein Air
Convention & Expo in April 2015.

M. STEPHEN DOHERTY is editor-in-chief of

PleinAir magazine.

See more outdoor still life paintings

in the expanded digital edition
of PleinAir.

Signs of Spring 
Bridget Ertelt
2014, oil, 14 x 11 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

20 August-September 2014 /

The Old Man and the Seashells
J.T. Harding
2013, oil, 11 x 14 in.
Private collection
Plein air

Florida’s Bountiful Harvest

Mitch Kolbe
2014, oil, 14 x 11 in.
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Raymond
Photo courtesy Tarapani’s Antiques &
Fine Art, Tarpon Springs, FL
Plein air
painting from nature

Studio Flowers
Jeffrey Pugh
2014, oil, 12 x 9 in.
Plein air
Utah artist Jeffrey Pugh filmed the development of this plein air
painting and posted the videos online during the “Where in the World
is...” event sponsored by Illume Gallery of Fine Art in St. Lake City, UT
(see page 77).

French Roses
Stephanie Birdsall
2014, oil, 10 x 8 in.
Courtesy Illume Gallery of Fine Art, Salt Lake City, UT
Plein air

22 August-September 2014 /

A Promise of Summer
Christopher Leeper
2013, oil, 30 x 24 in.
Collection the artist
This painting won the Best Floral award in the
April/May 2014 PleinAir Salon competition. / August-September 2014 23

Expanded Digital Edition Content

painting from nature

Spring Gifts From My Garden

Mike Malm
2014, oil, 12 x 8 in.
Courtesy Illume Gallery of Fine Art,
Salt Lake City, UT
Plein air

August-September 2014 /

Expanded Digital Edition Content

painting from nature

Michelle Knapper
2014, oil, 14 x 11 in.
Plein air
This painting was created during the annual plein air paint-out spon-
sored by Hudson Fine Art & Framing in Hudson, OH. At left, Knapper
shows how she used a cardboard viewfinder to compose her painting. / August-September 2014

artist profile


Painting Changing Light Effects

Whether working outdoors or in her Los Angeles studio, Anne Ward is fascinated by the way light changes her
visual perceptions. The variations in color, shape, texture, and form become the real subject of her paintings, many
of which are titled with the time of day she observed the subtle variations.

e see the world by the way it is lot of trial and error to arrive at those approxima-
revealed in light, and we know tions, and each new painting presents a challenge Anne Ward
many of the principles that help us to find the right color mixtures to convey our
select the right hue, value, and chroma of paint observations to those who view our work.
to approximate what the light reveals to us both Californian Anne Ward has been dealing
outdoors and in the studio. Still, we go through a with that challenge for years and has developed

a remarkable ability to create landscapes and still

lifes that capture all the subtle shifts in the appear-
ance of colors, values, shapes, and edges. One of
the keys to her success is that she is always looking
at places and objects in terms of their potential
for a painting, and she considers every angle from
which the subject might be recorded. “I gravitate
towards shapes, patterns, and light,” she explains.
“When I find a place or set of objects that intrigue
me, I consider how I might paint it in a composi-
tion that is a relatively simple display of shapes
that are somewhat out of balance. That is, I look

NAME: Anne Ward
LOCATION: Los Angeles
INFLUENCES: “Fairfield Porter, Vuillard,
Diebenkorn, Raimonds Staprans, Wayne
Thiebault, and Nikolai Timkov.”

9:30am on the Porch

2012, oil, 33 x 30 in.
Collection Sharon & Alan Kane
Plein air
Butter at Night
2012, oil, 12 x 12 in.
Private collection
Plein air

about effective ways to organize pictorial com-

position. Both have their own approaches to
selecting, organizing, and editing the subjects
they choose to paint.
When Ward sizes up the painting possibili-
ties of a still life arrangement or a location, she
is sensitive to the way the prevailing conditions
influence her perceptions. “I want my paint-
ings to be about the way things looked at a
moment in time,” says the artist. “I respond to
the unique conditions that occur in the morn-
ing, midday, or evening. I note how forms and
colors appear in each season; I consider how
incandescent light is different than natural light,
and I think about how forms change depending
for arrangements that are not symmetrical
displays of colors, angles, shadow pat-
terns, textures, and lines.
“I want things to be out of balance
in my paintings because I get bored by
having colors, forms, and lights sym-
metrically organized. I much prefer to
have one element dominate and the rest
supporting that center of interest. For
example, I might think in terms of having
dark values fill 75 percent of the space
in a painting or, conversely, having light
shapes fill three-fourths of the canvas. Us-
ing the same proportions, I might paint a
landscape in which 75 percent of the im-
age is dominated by a body of water or a
mountain. That’s not a standard formula
I use all the time, but it is an effective way
of organizing the elements of a picture.”
Ward’s husband, Ian Roberts,
wrote a book on composition titled
Mastering Composition: Techniques
and Principles to Dramatically Improve
Your Paintings, and he has produced
videos on both composition and plein
air painting. Obviously, there is a lot
of discussion between the two artists

Looking North
2013, oil, 25 x 23 in.
Collection Robin Armandpour
Plein air
artist profile

Afternoon in My Yard
2010, oil, 33 x 30 in.
Private collection
Plein air

26 August-September 2014 /

2013, oil, 16 x 16 in.
Collection Embeth Davidtz & Jason Sloan
Plein air

could take the ideas out of my memory bank and

act on them, I was ready to pursue them. I might
have to wait until the kids were in bed before I
could forage around the house looking for some-
thing I wanted to paint, but that wasn’t really a
bad situation. The circumstances got me to be
curious about complicated images of figures in a
garden as well as simpler concepts like the range
of colors in a stick of butter or the compositional
possibilities in stalks of asparagus.”
Ward certainly understands there are more
ways to express one’s creativity than just paint-
ing. After graduating from college, she spent
five years working for Lawrence Kasdan, the
writer and producer of movies such as Raiders of
the Lost Ark, Silverado, Body Heat, The Big Chill,
and Grand Canyon. “I lived in France for about
a year while I was helping with the production
of one of Kasdan’s movies, and around that time
I became interested in being a painter,” Ward
remembers. “My parents gave me an easel and
a friend pushed me out the door to paint the
French countryside. I wasn’t very skilled, and I
on my vantage point. That’s what motivates
me to paint something, and it’s what keeps
me engaged through the creative process. I
hope it is also what attracts viewers to my
pictures. Once I am deeply involved in that
process, I remind myself of what it was that
grabbed my attention in the first place,
especially if I wind up completing the
painting long after the light has changed or
when I’ve taken the canvas into my studio.”
In her conversation, Ward often points
out that her choices about subject matter,
sizes of canvases, and painting location have
to do with what is going on with her two
children. “I’ve been able to maintain my
involvement with painting while raising the
kids, but I’ve had to adjust to their schedule
and level of independence,” she says. “When
our children were very young, Dan McCaw,
a friend and mentor, suggested I keep paint-
ing in my mind even if I couldn’t do it on
canvas. That was great advice. And when I

2013, oil, 16 x 16 in.
Collection Gigi Levangie Grazer
Plein air
artist profile

10am Summer
Oil, 12 x 12 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

friends, so Porter’s paintings strike a balance

between formal considerations and personal
content. My husband and I were fortunate to
stay in Porter’s house in Maine one summer,
and it was extraordinary to live exactly where he
drew inspiration for his painting.”
When asked about her choice of materials,
Ward first notes that an umbrella is essential for
painting under direct sunlight. She then men-
tions that the colors on her palette include two
reds, two yellows, two blues, turquoise, pthalo
green, Winsor green, raw umber, and titanium
white. She sometimes uses Holbein quick-
drying medium or a Gamblin quick-dry white
to speed up the drying time of the oil colors.
Lately she has been using Gamblin’s solvent-free
painting medium.

M. STEPHEN DOHERTY is the editor-in-chief of

PleinAir magazine.

See more of Anne Ward’s paintings in

the expanded digital edition of

think I spent 18 hours overworking my first canvas, but the

local villagers were tremendously encouraging and I loved
the experience of painting outdoors.”
Ward continues, “When I returned to the U.S. in 1996,
I happened to meet artists like Tom Redfield, Dan Pinkham,
Stephen Mirich, and Joseph Mendez, who showed me how
they were painting outdoors. Joseph became my teacher, and
he was a wonderfully uncompromising mentor. I had already
established a strong work ethic in my years with Kasdan, and
the wonderful painters I met helped direct me to plein air
Aside from the notable contemporary artists who are
her friends and mentors, Ward says she has learned a great
deal by looking at the work of Fairfield Porter (1907-1975).
“I love the way he painted, but perhaps more importantly, I
respect the way he integrated his life into his art,” she says.
“He painted his children, his house, his dog, and his close

Day 5, Pink Radishes

2010, oil, 12 x 12 in.
Collection Kai Cole
Plein air

28 August-September 2014 /

2013, oil, 12 x 12 in.
Collection Robin Armandpour
Plein air / August-September 2014 29

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

August Flowers
2013, oil, 16 x 16 in.
Collection Suzanne Goin & David Lentz
Plein air

August-September 2014 /

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

Flowers at Sharon’s
2013, oil, 12 x 12 in.
Collection Sharon Friedman
Plein air
11pm, in My Kitchen
2009, oil, 12 x 12 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air / August-September 2014

historic influences

ANDREW WYETH (1917-2009)

New Exhibition Highlights

Wyeth’s Windows
A major exhibition at the National Gallery brings attention to the process by which Andrew Wyeth created a series
of views through windows. Most of the preliminary drawings and watercolor sketches were created en plein air.

ndrew Wyeth was never comfortable Like most artists, Wyeth had a thin skin distant space. “That’s a painting of the horrible
having labels attached to any limited when it came to labels and unfavorable reviews Helga experience,” he said. And even though the
aspect of his artwork. He felt names for his exhibitions, but especially about dismiss- controversy had happened more than 30 years
like “realist,” “portraitist,” and “magic realist” ive comments from newspaper and magazine before, Wyeth put the rough waters in the left
put too much emphasis on one facet of his critics. He would not release his copyrighted foreground of his egg tempera painting.
work, and not enough on the more compli- images unless he thought a writer would be Given Wyeth’s sensitivities about labels and
cated themes that ran through his watercolors, fair and accurate. The scorching criticism of criticism, he would likely have mixed feelings
egg tempera paintings, and drawings. In all The Helga Pictures, a collection of pictures of
likelihood, he would also have been uncom- Helga Testorf that surfaced in the 1980s, left Wind From the Sea
fortable being called a “plein air painter,” him unsettled for years afterward. He once 1947, tempera on hardboard
because that might imply that his preparatory showed this writer a landscape painting in © Andrew Wyeth
drawings and paintings were just as significant which there were turbulent rapids cascading National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
as his studio pictures. in the foreground and calm, still waters in the Gift of Charles H. Morgan
Study for Wind about the current exhibition of his work at the National
From the Sea Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. While he would
1947, pencil on paper, appreciate having his work displayed, once again, in the
22 1/2 x 23 7/8 in. nation’s museum, he might wince at the text written by
© Andrew Wyeth the director and curators. “We hope that this exploration
The Marunuma Art Park both on the walls and in the catalogue will encourage a
Collection, Asaka, Japan much closer look at Wyeth’s work and contribute to the
reassessment of his achievement that is well underway,”
wrote Earl A. Powell III, director of the NGA.
Reassessment? The implication of Powell’s statement
is that the critics who found Wyeth’s work lacking might
change their minds if they look more closely and consider
the abstract qualities in his paintings of windows. Washing-
ton Post critic Philip Kennicott wrote in the May 23, 2014
edition of the newspaper, “The curators of the exhibition
emphasize the degree to which Wyeth is engaged with
abstraction throughout these works.... But it is always
contained, and often it is the geometry of the window that
Study for Wind seems to keep it at bay.” After criticizing Wyeth for never
From the Sea being willing to break the “rules” associated with value
1947, watercolor on paper, composition, Kennicott concludes that “the cumulative
14 x 20 in. reductionism of his work, the austerity of its dun-colored
© Andrew Wyeth palette, dulls the mind more than it sharpens the eye.”
The Marunuma Art Park Perhaps the most telling criticism leveled by Ken-
Collection, Asaka, Japan nicott and other critics is the complaint that the general
public and most painters find that Wyeth’s work does
stimulate their minds and sharpen their eyes. They as-
sume that if a work of art has popular appeal, it is, by
definition, inferior. Calvin Tomkins, the former art critic
for The New Yorker magazine, dismissed a 1998 show of
Wyeth’s landscapes at the Whitney Museum of Ameri-
can Art in New York because the paintings appealed to
the museum-going public and to Richard Nixon (who
displayed Wyeth’s paintings in the White House during
his presidency). Once again, the critics dismissed Wyeth’s
Study for Wind work on the basis of superficial and irrelevant criteria.
From the Sea When Wyeth described his own work, he would
1947, watercolor and pencil usually identify the people and places included, as well as
on paper, 17 3/4 x 23 7/8 in. the context in which the artwork was created. He always
© Andrew Wyeth said he had to paint what he knew well and couldn’t
The Marunuma Art Park imagine accepting a commission to paint the portrait of
Collection, Asaka, Japan a stranger or a landscape of an unfamiliar location. The
identity of the subject was critical to his artwork, as were
the abstract principles of design. He might refer to one
painting as “mature,” meaning it was structured around a
sophisticated plan that left much to the viewer’s imagi-
nation, but there was never a question about the work’s
being inspired by familiar people, places, and experiences.
That is one of the reasons people relate so well to his art.
It speaks to them because it refers to shared experiences.
Wyeth’s compositional plan for each of his paintings
evolved through a series of drawings and watercolors done / August-September 2014 31

in solitude, so it is understandable he would be
uneasy about being a celebrity and a target for crit-
ics. Fortunately for those who love and admire his
work, the fame, and the ridicule, don’t get in the
way of appreciating Wyeth’s art.


IN will be on view at the NGA through November 30.
It includes some 60 tempera paintings, watercolors,
and drawings depicting windows in figureless com-
positions. The exhibition is made possible by support
from Altria Group. The exhibition and catalogue
Spring Fed After making so many sketches and water- have been organized by Nancy K. Anderson, cura-
1967, tempera on Masonite color studies, Wyeth would have a composition tor and head of the department of American and
© Andrew Wyeth worked out and the details of the subject firmly British paintings, with assistance and contributions
Collection of Bill and Robin Weiss etched in his mind. He could use those sketches from Charles Brock, associate curator for American
and his memory to begin the time-consuming and British paintings. A catalogue accompanies the
on location while he was sitting on the ground. process of creating an egg tempera painting in his exhibition and is available from the NGA Gallery
He would walk into a field, lay down a stack of studio. That process necessitated mixing a fresh Shops. To order a copy, visit or
paper, place a board on the ground or hold it in batch of paint almost every time he entered the call 800.697.9350.
his lap, and proceed to make dozens of quick studio, carefully combining dry pigment with
sketches until he fleshed out an idea. One of his egg yolks and distilled water (and perhaps some M. STEPHEN DOHERTY is editor-in-chief of
regular models might go out into the field with vinegar). He would gradually build thin layers of PleinAir magazine.
him, or he might head off by himself to a favorite the transparent paint on the surface of a specially
painting spot. He was more comfortable sitting prepared board. See more by Andrew Wyeth in the
than standing at an easel — and he was less vis- Going to nature was a vital part of Wyeth’s expanded digital edition of PleinAir.
ible to people who might be hoping for a Wyeth creative process because it connected him to the
sighting. people and places that mattered most to him, it Frostbitten
gave him the opportunity to refine his ideas, and 1962, watercolor on paper
it provided a wealth of reference material he could © Andrew Wyeth
use in the studio. All of that was done quietly and Private collection

Off at Sea
1972, tempera on panel
© Andrew Wyeth
Private collection

32 August-September 2014 /

Expanded Digital Edition Content

historic influences

The Pikes
1965, watercolor on paper
© Andrew Wyeth
The San Diego Museum of Art
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge

Rod and Reel

1975, watercolor on paper
© Andrew Wyeth
Collection Dr. and Mrs. James David Brodell
Expanded Digital Edition Content

historic influences

Room in the Mirror Study

1948, watercolor on paper
© Andrew Wyeth
Private collection

Evening at Kuerners
1970, drybrush watercolor on paper
© Andrew Wyeth
Private collection

August-September 2014 /

artist profile


Painting a Greater Truth

When she moved away from detailed representational painting, Nancy Tankersley gave herself
the freedom to interpret what she saw and felt, on location and in the studio. In doing so,
she responded to a broader, more encompassing truth about her subjects.

t would be much easier to paint every- of grass, or building window when we gaze at paint a selective impression of a scene as well as
thing I see in the landscape exactly as the landscape, nor do we focus on every petal expressing her feelings about the subject.
it appears than it is to only paint the on a flower or hair on a person’s head. And how Recent research supports the idea that
essential elements,” says Maryland artist Nancy we remember what we have seen has more to human beings have selective memories. For ex-
Tankersley. “By simplifying and focusing my do with the way we felt when we saw it than the ample, psychological scientist Linda Henkel of
paintings, they are more likely to reflect who specific details. We might remember a great meal, Fairfield University in Connecticut presented
I am as an artist, as well as the actual response lots of laughter, and good friends who joined us data showing that people who take snapshots
viewers have to the subjects I paint.” for dinner but forget the name of the restaurant wind up with poorer memories of the subjects
To explain herself further, Tankersley or its address. Our recollections are selective, of those photographs. Participants in one of her
points out that none of us see every leaf, blade so it makes perfect sense that Tankersley would research projects had worse recall of objects,

Nancy Tankersley

NAME: Nancy Tankersley
INFLUENCES: “Sargent, Zorn, Sorolla,
and living artists Quang Ho, Carolyn
Anderson, Kim English.”

Golden Haze
2013, oil, 16 x 16 in.
Courtesy South Street Art Gallery, Easton, MD
Plein air / August-September 2014 33

artist profile

Across the Marsh

2013, oil, 12 x 24 in.
Courtesy South Street Art Gallery, Easton, MD
Plein air

the Washington Society of Landscape Painters,

of which I am an elected member, but that was
only a few times each year.”
In 2004, Tankersley took her first plein
air painting workshop, with Ken Auster,
and she says it was “a pivotal moment” in
her career. “I found plein air painting very
frustrating until I watched as Ken simplified
his subjects and painted them quickly. He
reminded me that painting is painting, no
and specific object details, when they had well selling commissioned portraits and paint- matter what the subject matter or medium. If
photographed those objects. “People were less ings with figures on the beach,” she recalls. “I I could paint portraits in the studio, I could
accurate in recognizing the objects they had took classes at the Torpedo Factory in Alexan- paint landscapes on location. I just needed to
photographed compared to those they had dria, Virginia, from Danni Dawson, Kenneth adjust to the demands of working outdoors
only observed,” she writes. “Furthermore, they W. Marlow, and others who helped me shift with limited time.”
weren’t able to answer as many questions about from relying on photographs to painting from After studying with Auster, Tankersley par-
the objects’ visual details for those objects they life. I did paint outdoors with other members of ticipated in a workshop with Carolyn Anderson,
had photographed.” Henkel’s research supports
the notion that people are attracted to subjects
that stir their emotions and not the details of
those subjects.
As Tankersley explains, striving to paint
the essential aspects of a visual image is no sim-
ple task. It requires the skill and understanding
that come from years of drawing and painting.
She has ample amounts of training and experi-
ence as a student, teacher, gallery owner, festival
organizer, and art school director. She applies
her experience and training to the creation of
figurative compositions, portraits, still lifes,
interior scenes, and landscapes. PleinAir maga-
zine asked her to talk primarily about those
landscape oil paintings.

Coming To Plein Air

Tankersley has been an artist most of her
life, but it wasn’t until about 10 years ago that
she had both the opportunity and the instruc-
tion to facilitate her becoming a plein air
painter. “We were living in Washington, D.C.,
where it was difficult to paint my immediate
surroundings, and I was a studio painter doing

Tilghman Afternoon
2008, oil, 12 x 12 in.
Private collection
Plein air

34 August-September 2014 / www.pleinairmagazi

Fairview Farm
2013, oil, 6 x 12 in.
Courtesy South Street Art Gallery, Easton, MD
Plein air

Brookletts Morning
2013, oil, 18 x 18 in.
Private collection
Plein air
who said thing that still resonate with her. “She a place I’ve observed and painted, I have no West Cottage
was talking about ways artists at the end of the hesitation in using my own photographs in the 2013, oil, 8 x 10 in.
19th century created great paintings from black studio. I still remain focused on simplifying Private collection
-and-white photographs because the inferior the composition, editing extraneous details, Plein air
still images could only suggest what the subject and expressing what appealed to me about the
looked like, not offer exacting details and colors,” location. like putty knives to create richer painting sur-
Tankersley says. “But then she pointed out that “In getting at the essence of a subject, faces. “When I see an artist using new materials
as the technology of photography improved, art- I might also add things that weren’t actually and techniques, I often experiment with those
ists allowed themselves to become dependent on part of the landscape I observed. I remember to discover whether or not they can be useful to
everything the camera recorded. Her point was hearing someone complain that another painter me,” she says. “For example, I have done some
that artists need to interpret what is in their refer- added boats to a coastal scene that he made up of my landscape paintings on frosted Mylar and
ence material, not copy it exactly. In her opinion, from his imagination. The complaining artist liked the way the slick, non-absorbent substrate
it would be better to use bad photographs or suggested that adding those boats was wrong. accepted the oil color.”
black-and-white snapshots because, of necessity, To me, if the painting was improved by adding
artists have to bring their own interpretation to boats, it was perfectly acceptable for the painter Just The Essentials
those still images.” to add what he remembered, sketched some- To get at the essential aspects of a land-
Linda Henkel’s research findings on where else, or adapted from other boats docked scape, Tankersley first surveys a location to
memory and photography don’t mean that pho- along the shoreline.” determine how the pattern of light and shadow,
tographs can’t be helpful to artists who use them Tankersley points to the work of Utah as well as the collection of shapes, might be
as resources when developing studio paintings. artist Douglas Fryer, who gets to the essence of presented on canvas. “When I first started
“I have no objection to using a variety of tools his landscape subjects and achieves a balance be- doing plein air paintings, I went in search of
to create paintings, even digital photographs,” tween abstraction and representation. She also the perfect scene to paint,” she says. “It wasn’t
Tankersley says firmly. “There is no point to notes that Fryer uses a wide range of tools to long before I accepted that there is no perfect
copying what a camera recorded, but if a still create his oil paintings, and that he is willing to scene. I realized I didn’t need to head outside in
image can be useful in recalling details about experiment with unconventional painting tools search of a body of water, a grove of trees, or a

36 August-September 2014 /

Laredo Bougainvillea
2014, oil, 8 x 10 in.
Private collection
Plein air

historic barn. Instead, I should think about the turned her attention full-time to being a painter.
abstract relationship of values, colors, shapes, In 2004 she and her husband, Carl Tankersley,
and edges. Now, after I pick a location, I do a became the owners of the South Street Art Gallery
360-degree review of a scene, look at various in Easton, Maryland. That same year, she was one
parts of a landscape through a viewfinder, and of the primary organizers of the first annual Plein
try to identify interesting shapes and lights. My Air — Easton! festival. In 2009, she co-founded the
experience with a camera actually informs how I Easton Studio & School, where she now teaches
view things as a painter.” weekly classes and short-term workshops. She
When teaching a workshop, Tankersley states that her experience in community-building
recommends students bring the following oil helped her with her endeavors in the festival, the
colors: titanium white, a warm yellow (cadmium school, and the gallery. She is a Signature member
yellow), a cool yellow (cadmium lemon), a warm of the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters, the Washing-
red (cadmium red light or naphthol red), alizarin ton Society of Landscape Painters, a the American
crimson, and ultramarine blue. Optional colors Impressionist Society, the Oil Painters of America,
are burnt sienna, phthalo blue, viridian green, and the Salmagundi Club in New York City.
and any black. The solvent she recommends is
odorless Gamsol or turpenoid, and the medium M. STEPHEN DOHERTY is editor-in-chief of Plein-
(not required) is Galkyd or Liquin. Her recom- Air magazine.
mendation for brushes is an assortment of syn-
thetic and natural bristle filbert-shaped brushes. See more of Nancy Tankersley’s
paintings in the expanded digital
NANCY TANKERSLEY studied art at Miami Univer- edition of PleinAir.
sity in Ohio and earned a B.A. in community studies
from the University of California at Santa Cruz, a Wishfull Thinking
degree that emphasizes community organization. 2008, oil, 12 x 9 in.
Following that were years spent in social work and Private collection
community action initiatives, before Tankersley Plein air / August-September 2014 37

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

Busy Night
2011, oil, 11 x 14 in.
Private collection

Crab Feast
2013, oil, 14 x 11 in.
Private collection

August-September 2014 /

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

Lifting Fog
2012, oil, 11 x 14 in.
Courtesy South Street Art
Gallery, Easton, MD
Plein air

Summer Cottage
2012, oil, 11 x 14 in.
Courtesy South Street Art Gallery,
Easton, MD
Plein air
Plein Air Collector


One Artist and His Patrons

Over a number of years, a Colorado couple bought and commissioned more than a dozen works
from Peter Campbell. The paintings were created outdoors or were based on his plein air studies.

eter Campbell says he is not the best at
promoting his artwork. So the story of
how he sold a large body of work to one
couple is interesting, perhaps especially to other
artists who aren’t experienced salespeople and to
art lovers who may be reluctant to begin build-
ing a collection.
“Our friendship and business relationship
began quite serendipitously,” Campbell explains.
“Carol Madeen, owner of Madeen Interiors in
Durango, Colorado, showed one of my paintings
to Marjie and Howard Wilson to determine if
they might want to buy it for the Arts & Crafts
home they built.” The couple agreed to keep the
oil painting for a few days, and after becoming
comfortable with it hanging in their home, they
bought it. Then, after living with the first paint-
ing and seeing it differently each time they stud-
ied it, they wanted to view more of Campbell’s
work. Over the next few years, they wound up
buying about 15 pieces and commissioning 10
murals. Clearly, the Wilsons responded positively
to Campbell’s landscape paintings, enjoyed
getting to know him, and thought his paintings
looked perfect in their Arts & Crafts-style home.
Campbell says that in his experience, one
sale often leads to another from the same col-
lector, although it doesn’t usually add up to as
many paintings as the Wilsons have acquired.
“If a collector really responds to the subject
matter and emotional content in my paintings,
they usually want to have other works that have
a similar look and feel,” the artist says. “My
best clients say they really enjoy my paint-
ings because the images seem timeless. That is,
they could have been painted 100 years ago or
yesterday. Because of that, the owners don’t get
tired of the paintings.”
Like many collectors, the Wilsons responded
to Campbell’s paintings of landscapes illuminated
by the light of dawn or dusk. “I trained as a pho-
The view into the Wilsons’ living room, with Peter Campbell’s 34 x 28-inch
tographer and first worked as a professional in landscape painting titled River Light hanging above the fireplace.

38 August-September 2014 /

that field, and it is understood that the best time
of day to shoot most subjects is at the beginning
or end of the day,” says Campbell. “The light at
midday is too harsh and flat to accentuate the
dimensions of a building, person, or landscape,
and it is harder to create a mood or grab the
viewer’s attention. Painters don’t have to record
exactly what they see, and they do have more of
an opportunity to push the colors, textures, or
values in a scene, but in general a painting will
have more visual appeal if it records the light at
the beginning or end of a day.”
Another factor just as important as a col-
lector’s response to the content of paintings is
the personal connection between the people
engaged in the sale transaction. Collectors like
to know the painters, the subject depicted in
their artwork, the circumstances under which
the work was created, and how the pictures
they choose connect with others the artist has
made. Perhaps more importantly, collectors like
to know that the artists are individuals they can
like and admire.
“I suspect the Wilsons bought the first
painting because they liked the image and
thought it fit into the style of their home, but
after that our friendship became a factor in
their buying decisions,” Campbell says. In all
likelihood, it also mattered that Campbell was
flexible in working with the Wilsons as they
picked paintings to fit into certain rooms of
their beautiful home. They appreciated that he
Two of Campbell’s paintings, After a Rain (28 x 30 in.) (Below) A bedroom with one of Campbell’s wanted to help them find the right pictures for
and Nightfall (44 x 38 in.), in the Wilson collection. Each 30 x 36-inch landscapes, Cut Fields, and a the rooms, and that he was willing to make his
is in one of the artist’s custom-made frames. small 8 x 6-inch figurative titled Backlight
own frames for the paintings with simple Arts
& Crafts molding that matched the wooden
beams and details in the structure.
Dealers and interior designers often play a
critical role in connecting artists with collectors,
as was the case of the Wilsons’ patronage of
Campbell. Those professionals can help collec-
tors sort through thousands of works of art to
find pieces that match their taste and budget,
they can help uncertain clients feel comfort-
able with owning paintings, and they can close
the deal. In many sales transactions, plein air
painters have an advantage over studio painters
because they respond directly to locations that
may have significance to potential collectors.
It also matters that Peter Campbell is a
sensitive, articulate, and dedicated painter who
presents his work in a very positive way. Moreo-
ver, he has a background that establishes him
as a professional artist whose career is worthy
of the attention and support of collectors. In / August-September 2014 39

Plein Air Collector

Another long 16 x 46-inch

horizontal painting, Sunset on the
Mesa, in another bedroom filled
with Stickley furniture.

A display of three small

plein air paintings by
Campbell titled Animas
Valley Winter (4 x 6 in.),
Oak Tree (8 x 6 in.), and
Valley Trees (8 x 10 in.).

40 August-September 2014 /

1997, when Campbell made a transition from
photography to painting, he studied the work
of 19th- and early-20th-century artists to gain
a better understanding of how they created a
feeling for light and form in their paintings.
He also participated in workshops taught by
David A. Leffel and Michael Del Priore to learn
more about the craft of painting and various
ways to develop portraits, still lifes, figures, and
Campbell calculates that he spends about
30 percent of his time painting outdoors on
canvases in sizes up to 16 x 20 inches. “I have
to spend time looking at nature to be able to
convey a true sense of the landscape in my
paintings,” he says. “I also take photographic
references, but as a former professional pho-
tographer I know how inadequate they are in
capturing the total experience of being in na-
ture. I think of my camera as a sketching tool
for recording details — a piece of sky, a grove
of trees, a distant river — but the real artistry
of painting is being able to instill a personal,
emotional quality in a landscape. In my experi-
ence, that is essential for engaging viewers who
might become collectors of my work.”

PETER CAMPBELL is represented by Meyer

East Gallery in Santa Fe, NM; A. Banks Gallery
in Bozeman, MT; Ann Korologos Gallery in
Basalt, CO; Sorrel Sky Gallery in Durango, CO;
and S.H. Brennen Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ. For
more information on Campbell, visit www.

M. STEPHEN DOHERTY is editor-in-chief of

PleinAir magazine.

Campbell’s 48 x 32-inch painting

Afternoon Orchard on display at
the end of a hallway.

All photographs this article:

Morona Photography, Durango,
CO (
artist profile


Blessed and Determined

This Tennessee artist has been quite fortunate to have special opportunities and support, but fortune and
serendipity aren’t the only reasons for her enviable level of success. That’s happened because of her determination
to become a better painter, her ability to handle challenges, and her positive attitude about her experiences.
By M. Stephen Doherty

f you have taught or taken a workshop, you
have met participants who have contrasting Anne Blair Brown
reasons for being part of the educational experi-
ence. Some workshop students want to show off to
the instructor because they are satisfied with their
artwork and hope that networking will bring atten-
tion to them. They aren’t interested in the planned
demonstrations, lectures, or — heaven forbid —
critiques. But there are also workshop participants
who signed up because they admire the instructor’s
work and believe he or she can help them pursue a
similar style and level of painting.
Anne Blair Brown was one of those students
who opened herself up to new ideas and materials,
accepted criticisms and suggestions, and savored the

Say a Little Prayer

2013, 11 x 12 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air
comments and historical references offered by her instruc-
tors. It’s no surprise, therefore, that she made rapid progress
in understanding and applying fundamental concepts about
painting and in achieving her professional goals. 
Brown was always interested in being an artist,
although she first followed her mother’s career path into
the restaurant and catering business. “I loved the creative
side of being a chef and caterer, but I still wanted to pursue

NAME: Anne Blair Brown
LOCATION: Nashville, TN
INFLUENCES:“All Russian Impressionists, Edouard
Vuillard, Emile Gruppe, Charles Hawthorne, Lucy
May Stanton, Elizabeth Sparhawk Jones.”
Top o’ the Mornin’
2014, 24 x 24 in.
Private collection

painting. She knew early on that she was most

excited by lush, expressive, boldly painted oils.
“I knew I wanted to work in a loose,
painterly style and not get sidetracked by too
much nitpicky detail,” she says. “I wanted to
leave something to the viewer’s imagination.
One of my favorite quotations by John F. Carl-
son explains this well: ‘Too much reality in a
picture is a disappointment to the imaginative
soul. We love suggestion and not hard facts.’
As I formed a clearer idea of how I wanted to
paint, I researched to find artists who could
help me develop that style of painting. Over a
period of several years I took workshops with
Ken Auster, Kim English, Camille Przewodek,
my interest in oil painting,” she explains. “I connected when I combined my passions for Carolyn Anderson, and others. I consider my-
majored in art at the University of Georgia and art and food.” self an eternal student and continue to learn
then got a valuable, disciplined art educa- As Brown continues to chronicle her art
tion at Watkins Institute in Nashville. One of career, two things become apparent. First, she Flower Child
my paintings of a restaurant interior won an has a clear idea of the style of artwork that most 2013, oil, 9 x 14 in.
award at a local art show, and it seemed that inspires her, and second, she is willing to work Private collection
everything took off from there. My life and art hard to achieve high standards of excellence in her Plein air
2013, oil, 12 x 12 in.
Private collection
Plein air

Treasured Past
2014, oil, 48 x 48 in.
Collection the artist

44 August-September 2014 /

Demonstration: Lovely Day

STEP 1: The scene Anne Blair Brown painted STEP 2: The initial burnt sienna wash Brown made to block in the compo-
sition of shapes and values

The Completed Painting

Lovely Day
2012, oil, 11 x 14 in.
Private collection
Plein air / August-September 2014 45

artist profile

Front Porch The process of trying to help another person “I work out the composition with that
2013, oil, 11 x 14 in. understand what I do is extremely valuable to monochromatic block-in so I can enjoy the
Private collection me. Also important is the wonderful feedback subsequent stages of adding color and manipu-
Plein air I get when students seem to really grasp my lating the brushwork,” she explains. “Once I am
explanations and respond well to my teaching confident in the composition and value range,
from artists whose work I admire. I think it methods.” the rest of the painting process is a joyous explo-
is important to continually open yourself to Through this process of education and ration of spontaneous, expressive, and gestured
new concepts for consistent artistic growth.” evaluation, Brown established a set of proce- use of brushes. Those brushes are the biggest
One of the unexpected ways Brown has dures that help her achieve the desired results. filberts and flats I can handle that allow me to
learned from others is through the workshops She first focuses on a potential painting subject make all the broad strokes I need. Lately, I’ve
she offers. “When I teach another person and makes four or five thumbnail sketches of also been using egbert brushes that have extra-
what I know, I have to be organized, thor- the basic elements of the design to indicate the long bristles and a lot more flexibility.”
ough, and responsive,” she says. “Moreover, scale and placement of the forms. Once she is Brown prefers to paint on panels covered
I have to explain things I would normally satisfied with that plan, Brown draws the major with Claessens linen or double-oil-primed linen
do intuitively or out of habit. That forces shapes on the canvas using a thin wash of burnt canvas. Her palette of colors includes ultra-
me to evaluate my materials and procedures. sienna or raw umber. marine blue, alizarin crimson, burnt sienna,

46 August-September 2014 /

Pecking Order down color notes and sketch a scene well enough Another reason to pull back on her festival
2014, oil, 16 x 20 in. to have a useful resource for studio painting.” commitments: Brown is now president of the
Collection the artist If Brown is able to reach a destination Plein Air Painters of the Southeast and is active in
Studio by car, she carries additional supplies, includ- both the Cumberland Society of Painters and the
ing panels in sizes 14 x 18 and 16 x 20 inches. Chestnut Group, a Nashville-based group of artists
cadmium red light, cadmium yellow light, cad- “Lately, I have been trying to see how large I dedicated to preserving endangered ecosystems,
mium yellow deep, yellow ochre, and titanium can paint on location in one day,” she says. “If historic locales, and aesthetically and environmen-
white. She often premixes several piles of the I am well organized and in the right frame of tally significant places. She always looks forward to
colors and values she will need for a particular mind, it doesn’t take much longer to do a 16 x traveling around Tennessee and to other regions of
scene. “When I first started painting, my colors 20-inch painting than one that is 11 x 14, and I the country with artist friends from those groups.
were muddy because I added too much chalky really like being able to make broader, sweeping “When I travel out of state, you can often
white and used the same brush for every section brushstrokes on the larger panels.” find me painting coastal scenes because that’s
of the painting,” Brown recalls. “Premixing my Brown has participated and won awards something I don’t get to do in Tennessee,” she
colors and working with three or four brushes in a number of plein air festivals, but this year says. “I have spent a lot of time painting in South
helped me keep the colors clean and bright.” she decided to be less involved in events and Carolina, Northern Florida, Cape Cod, and
When hiking to a painting location, Brown to spend more time teaching and studying. “I California. PAPSE is planning a trip to Maine in
aims to be a “minimalist painter,” reducing her sup- really enjoy trying new approaches to painting, September, and I cannot wait to paint lobster boats
plies to the minimum needed to complete several and that’s not so easy when I am competing in and enjoy the day’s fresh catch.”
paintings. “Everything has to fit in in a backpack,” an event,” says the artist. “I’ve really enjoyed
she says, “so I limit myself to three PanelPak wet- the festivals I’ve been part of and I’m sure I will M. STEPHEN DOHERTY is editor-in-chief of Plein-
canvas carriers, sizes 8 x 10, 9 x 12, and 11 x 14 go back to some of them, but for now it feels Air magazine.
inches; six brushes; seven tubes of paint; a 10 x right to spend more time thinking and less
12-inch Open Box M pochade box; a lightweight time competing and selling. I need to be true See more of Anne Blair Brown’s
tripod; paper towels; bug spray; sunblock; and a to my art spirit, and that is how I best share paintings in the expanded digital
small metal container of Gamsol. My aim is to put with others.” edition of PleinAir. / August-September 2014 47

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

Peace Within
2013, oil, 11 x 14 in.
Private collection
Plein air (interior painted on location)

Good Morning Sunshine

2014, oil, 40 x 40 in.
Private collection

August-September 2014 /

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

Morning Mood
2013, oil, 9 x 14 in.
Private collection
Plein air

Ranch on the Side

2014, oil, 8 x 10 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air / August-September 2014

artist profile


From Architectural Illustrator

to Plein Air Painter
More watercolorists are now competing successfully in plein air competitions,
and many of them have backgrounds in commercial illustration. Missouri artist Richard Sneary
is one who has made an easy transition from creating detailed architectural illustrations to painting fluid,
glowing, and expressive transparent watercolors on location.

ast year Richard Sneary participated in about 10 plein air events,
most by invitation or juried selection, and he won about the same
number of awards in those competitions. That’s a remarkable
achievement for an artist who started participating in outdoor painting
events only about five years ago. Before then, his professional activities
were primarily focused on architecture and architectural illustration. He
painted outdoors only occasionally, usually during workshops scheduled in
connection with an annual conference.
“The American Society of Architectural Illustrators, of which I am a
president emeritus and a member since 1989, has an annual conference
that highlights a juried competition of approximately 60 of the year’s top
illustrators and includes seminars that are beneficial to the membership,”

Carriage House
2012, watercolor, 10 x 14 in. Afternoon Shadows
Private collection 2012, watercolor, 14 x 10 in.
Plein air Private collection
Plein air

48 August-September 2014 /

AH HAA Depot
2012, watercolor, 14 x 10 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

Sneary says. “In years past, ASAI has sponsored

workshops, independent of the annual confer-
ence, with top artists like Charles Reid and Jeanne
Dobie, who were especially helpful to me because
they are masters of the watercolor medium. Their
approaches became even more inspirational when
I started painting outdoors in a looser, more expres-
sive manner.”
Sneary continues to accept commissions
to create paintings of proposed and existing
buildings, but he is shifting more of his efforts
toward creating watercolors of subjects of personal
interest, using techniques that are much more
expressive than would be acceptable to a com-
mercial client. “Being an architectural illustrator
and licensed architect for 40 years, I can read a
set of schematic drawings and understand how
a building will look if it is constructed,” he says.

NAME: Richard Sneary
LOCATION: Kansas City, MO
INFLUENCES: “Winslow Homer, John
Singer Sargent, Charles Reid, and Alvaro Back Yards
Castagnet.” 2012, watercolor, 14 x 10 in.
WEBSITE: Private collection
Plein air / August-September 2014 49

2011, watercolor, 14 x 10 in.
Private collection
Plein air

kind of artwork has been reduced dramatically by the growing

use of digital images and in-house illustrators. Many of the top
plein air painters, among them Kevin Macpherson, Ned Muel-
ler, Dennis Doheny, and Brian Stewart, began their careers as
art directors, graphic designers, and illustrators. They changed
direction either because they lost clients or they wanted to be
free from client control. Like those former graphic artists, Sneary
saw a decline in the number of commissions as an opportunity
to explore more personal and creative work.
He says, “In 2009 and 2010, my wife, Susan Lynn,
and I signed up to participate in a non-juried plein air event
in Overland Park, Kansas, and that was intended to be our
introduction to the process of working on consecutive days in
a designated location with the expectation that the resulting
work would be exhibited and sold. The summer weather was
unbearable that first year, so we dropped out without complet-
ing a painting, and the next year, because of other commit-
ments, we were no-shows.
“Because I was unaccustomed to working under such
extreme conditions and I hadn’t yet decided how I would
approach watercolors on location, those first two experiences
were not happy ones. However, in 2011 the conditions were
much better and I had more of a sense of how I could create
satisfying paintings. Fortunately, I won the Best of Show award
that year.”
Sneary continues, “The same year, I was juried into Plein
Air — Easton and wound up selling all of the paintings I created
during that event. By that time, I was really enjoying the free-
dom to paint what I wanted, to share some fun and information
“In the ’60s and ’70s, I used to do large pastels, retro-coloring over greatly
enlarged pencil drawings, 5 to 8 feet wide, because they were fast (a few
hours) and the originals often had to be used for presentation to large
groups who wouldn’t be able to see smaller illustrations. Large photo-
graphic prints or slides took too long — architects did, and still do, need
everything yesterday — to produce. In the early 1980s, I shifted toward
watercolor because I loved the transparency and luminosity that water-
color could produce over a simple graphite perspective drawing. From
then on, most of my commissions were for watercolor illustrations.”
In recent years, computer-generated images have completely changed
the market for commissioned artwork intended to be used for book jackets,
advertisements, magazine covers, CD boxes, fashion displays, and architec-
tural illustrations. The number of opportunities to get paid to create that

North Barn
2011, watercolor, 10 x 14 in.
Private collection
Plein air

50 August-September 2014 /

Sole Deck
2013, watercolor, 10 x 14 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

Pima Canyon Trail

2013, watercolor, 10 x 14 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air
artist profile

Morning Shore
2012, watercolor, 14 x 10 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

to the point that they satisfy me. I don’t like to

spend a lot of time on an individual painting
because there is a point at which the architec-
tural illustrator in me starts to overwork the
painting with too much tedious detail. I prefer
to finish a painting in one sitting of about three
to four hours. I might possibly go back to the
same spot another day, if I’m working slowly
or if the light and weather conditions make it
impossible to finish a piece, but I prefer not to
do that.
“I always draw the subject on the water-
color paper with graphite before I start painting,
and I aim to put down only the lines that are
needed because a detailed drawing can distract
from the mood of a painting. As I begin to
paint from light to dark values, I allow the paint
to flow and the underlying graphite lines to
show through the transparent colors. I pay more
attention to establishing a center of interest and
to allowing more freedom of brushwork and
random paint-mixing in areas away from that
focal point.”
Given his background in architecture, it
isn’t surprising that Sneary includes buildings
in many of his watercolor paintings, whether as
the central image or as an element of a broader
landscape. “I’ve picked up ideas from other art-
ists who participate in plein air festivals, because
painters are very willing to share information,”
he says. “For example, I’ve enjoyed watching
Charlie Hunter use water-soluble oils and Mark
LaGrue use oils. Both incorporate buildings in
very different ways than I do, often having a
sharply defined center of interest and an almost
abstract pattern of brush marks in the periph-
eral areas. They’ve given me ideas about how I
with other artists, to meet collectors, and to with how he paints rather than where he paints. can continue to develop my outdoor paintings.
explore an unfamiliar location. In September “After all the years of meeting clients’ expecta- I expect to keep learning, growing, and getting
of 2011, Susan and I were invited by Kim tions, I have no trouble planning and executing better as an artist for years to come.”
Casebeer to join a group of plein air painters watercolor paintings,” the artist says. “The chal-
who would be working in the Flint Hills region lenge now is to use what I’ve learned to arrive at M. STEPHEN DOHERTY is editor-in-chief of
of Kansas. That was my first chance to have a my own style of painting. I employ some of the PleinAir magazine.
collection of my outdoor paintings featured in looseness and random mixing of colors that are
PleinAir magazine and in a gallery exhibition.” the hallmark of a Charles Reid painting, with See more of Richard Sneary’s plein air
Now that he is established as a top artist at the calculated color mixtures of a Jeanne Dobie paintings in the expanded digital
plein air events, Sneary’s goals have more to do painting. As I do that, I usually can get things edition of PleinAir.

52 August-September 2014 /

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

Civita 3
2010, watercolor, 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

Dover Swing Bridge

2013, watercolor, 10 x 14 in.
Private collection
Plein air

Grandpa’s Place
2013, watercolor, 10 x 14 in.
Private collection
Plein air / August-September 2014

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

Lock Keeper’s House

2013, watercolor, 10 x 14 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air
Main Street Station
2013, watercolor, 14 x 10 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

Picket Fence
2013, watercolor, 10 x 14 in.
Odd Fellows Collection the artist
2012, watercolor, 14 x 10 in. Plein air
Private collection
Plein air
artist profile


Paintings to Hang
in Your Home
When Wisconsin artist Bob Beck saw an exhibition of Russian Impressionist paintings, he immediately
knew he wanted to paint with similarly thick paint, bright colors, and bold brushwork to create
expressive images. Those are the kinds of paintings he wants to hang on his walls.

any artists discover their professional
calling at the moment they see a par-
ticular piece of artwork in a gallery or
museum. Suddenly they realize what can stir their
souls and challenge their minds. That’s especially
true if the artwork is an unexpected discovery.
Reproductions of artwork or digital images on a
computer screen may have that impact, but it is
more likely to occur when an artist comes face-
to-face with a monumental painting by someone
like Nicolai Fechin, John Singer Sargent, Edgar
Payne, Winslow Homer, or Andrew Wyeth. Work
by artists who defined and championed a style
of painting can reach across time and space to
change the lives of those who discover the paint-
ings, sculptures, prints, or drawings.
That’s what happened to Bob Beck just
seven years ago, when he viewed an exhibition of
paintings by 20th-century Russian Impression-
ists. “Until then, I had spent 20 years working in
a factory, painting in watercolor and oils on the
side,” he recalls. “My passion for art eventually
motivated me to start my own art gallery and
framing shop. But when I saw the exhibition of
Russian Impressionist paintings at Vail Fine Art
in Colorado, I knew what I wanted hanging on
my wall, and I wanted to learn to use oil paints
the way those artists did.”
Beck bought books on the Russians and
Horseshoe Bay Farms A Little Bit of Country
2013, oil, 16 x 20 in. 2013, oil, 16 x 20 in. other artists who worked in that style, and he
Collection the artist Private collection investigated how they created paintings that were
Plein air Plein air informed by the French Impressionists’ isolated,
thick strokes of color but focused on celebrating a
society of working-class people, small villages, and
farming activities. He believed that kind of work
encompassed all that painting could be, especially
when it was a means of expressing a simple and
honorable way of life. / August-September 2014 53

artist profile

Bruemmer County Park

2014, oil, 16 x 20 in.
Private collection
Plein air

10:00am Trees
2014, oil, 16 x 20 in.
Private collection
Plein air

54 August-September 2014 /

The method Beck developed for finding
his own voice within the chorus of the Russian
Impressionists was to work on a surface toned
with a potent wash of cadmium red oil color.
“The red sets up a relationship between colors that
carries through the painting process,” he explains.
“It lends an overall warmth to the painting, espe-
cially in areas where it shows through the top lay-
ers of color. I tone several panels at a time and let
them dry, and take a number of different-sized
panels with me when I head out to paint.
“Once I’ve got all my supplies organized, I
spend a lot of time driving around an area, look-
ing for scenes defined by an interesting pattern
of light and shadow, then I park and set up my
easel. I usually go out around 6:30 or 7 a.m. so
I can take advantage of the warm, low light of
morning. If I don’t find something by 10 a.m., I
just set up anywhere and paint what is out in the
field. I give a lot of thought to the composition
of my paintings, so even before I mix up colors
I draw two equally spaced lines along the side
of the canvas, and two vertical lines that are also
equally spaced. The intersections of those lines
have traditionally been thought of as good places
to locate the center of interest as well as the
secondary elements of the composition, because
it keeps the focus away from the dead center of
the picture and establishes a harmonious balance
to the composition. I look through a hand-held
viewfinder to determine what will be included
and excluded from the painting, then I sketch
the outlines of the major shapes.”
Beck continues, “Like most plein air painters,
I have to think about a lot of different aspects of
painting when I’m working outdoors, including
the relationship of values, edges, shapes, and color
temperature. Because I work on the medium-
value red surface, I tend to paint from light to
End of Sunflowers
dark values, and I make a deliberate point of 2013, oil, 20 x 16 in.
breaking up edges so they don’t get too hard. In “I put titanium white on both sides of my Collection the artist
terms of color relationships, I usually paint the palette and make a point of keeping the pile Plein air
foreground of a landscape with warmer colors and on the left clean so I can add light values when
more contrasting values and shift to cooler and needed, as well as bright highlights applied in
less contrasting shapes in the distant spaces. the final stage. In between the whites, I have
“I work relatively fast and put a lot of cadmium yellow lemon, cadmium yellow ARTIST DATA
energy into my efforts when painting on loca- medium, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, transpar-
tion. My standard panel size is 16 x 20 inches, ent red oxide, alizarin crimson, cadmium red, NAME: Bob Beck
but I sometimes work smaller, or up to 24 x 30. quinacridone red, Prussian blue, phthalo blue, BIRTHDATE: 1954
Working on relatively large surfaces outdoors cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, three purple INFLUENCES: “Fedor Zakharov, Nikolai
helps me keep the brushwork broad and loose mixtures, a dark made from a combination of Timkov, Konstantin Korovin, Nicolai
because it forces me to stand back and use the Van Dyke brown and ivory black, and what I Fechin, Charles Movalli, Emile Gruppe,
full motion of my arm when I am blocking call my ‘mud colors’ — leftover paint scraped and Andrew Wyeth.”
in the shapes and breaking those down into together to make a cool gray and a warm WEBSITE:
smaller planes of space. brownish gray.” / August-September 2014 55

Rogers Street Fishing Village
2014, oil, 20 x 16 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

56 August-September 2014 /

artist profile

A Rare m602
2013, oil, 16 x 20 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

The three piles of purple mixtures Beck mentions are what he uses for end of the development of a landscape. When working en plein air, I con-
the initial sketches on the red-toned panels. “Accurate drawing is very im- tinue until the painting is completely resolved, because I don’t like making
portant to me, so I quickly draw the lines to establish the scale, perspective, too many changes once I am back in my studio. To me, studio painting and
and composition of shapes,” says the artist. “The paint is thin enough that plein air painting are two completely different enterprises, so I seldom use
I can wipe off lines that need correcting, and the color doesn’t adversely outdoor paintings as references for large studio paintings.”
influence the paint applied over it. Once I am satisfied with the composi- Because Beck continues to own and operate his own gallery and
tion, I start working with the local colors, and continually adjust those in frame shop, he has little time for teaching or participating in plein air
terms of the edges, relative value, and temperature. Because I am trying to events, save for a few festivals within easy driving distance of his home in
work in the style of the great Russian artists, I don’t mix colors thoroughly Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
on my palette — I like to have the pigments blend on the canvas and in
the eyes of the viewer. M. STEPHEN DOHERTY is editor-in-chief of PleinAir magazine.
“I make a point of working all over the painting surface, and not just
around the center of interest. I often use a really sharp palette knife to add See more of Bob Beck’s paintings
and scrape away paint, and more often than not I add the sky toward the in the expanded digital edition of PleinAir. / August-September 2014 57

Expanded Digital Edition Content

Day’s End
2013, oil, 16 x 20 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

Breakfast at Lyle’s
2013, oil, 16 x 20 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

Dinner at Lyle’s
2014, oil, 20 x 16 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

2014, oil, 16 x 20 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air
artist profile


A Gentle Narrative
By adding figures, vehicles, buildings, and animals to his paintings, Texas artist John Pototschnik
suggests a patriotic, homespun story that engages viewers. An increasing number of people are
being drawn into those paintings, and to his artist’s blog of interviews.

he gentle narrative found in my paintings
evolves as the images take shape,” explains
John Pototschnik, winner of the PleinAir
Magazine Award in the Art Renewal Center’s Interna-
tional 2013/2014 ARC Salon. “It is a natural, unforced
means of expressing the way I wish life was, and the
way it could be again. I think of the paintings as expres-
sions of the America we all love. The narrative under-
tones are not a result of my illustration background,
but rather a natural expression of childhood memories.
There are many ways of beautifully expressing oneself
through the landscape, and mine is just one way.”
Most of these narrative paintings are created in a
studio, but some of the ideas and references come from
the hundreds of plein air paintings Pototschnik has made
on 5 1/2 x 8 1/2-inch sheets of paper that are held in
three-ring binders. “Plein air work is critically important
for what I do,” he says. “I have two mental approaches
to outdoor painting. First, I consider most of the work
done on-site as studies to use as reference, as well as to
inspire and inform the larger studio works. I seldom sell
those studies. The other mental approach is to create
standalone pieces that are available for purchase.
“Plein air painting can cause many to procrastinate
and not actually get out and paint. The thought of
getting all the equipment together, selecting canvases,
finding a location, and dealing with the elements can
give one pause. To overcome most of these obstacles, it’s
a good idea to simplify, simplify, and simplify again. One
has to reduce what’s needed to a bare minimum so that it
is easy to just pick up and go.”
Pototschnik continues, “I began outdoor painting
in earnest in 1985 by working with oils on 5 1/2 x 8 The Red Gate
1/2-inch sheets of 100 percent rag paper sealed with a ARTIST DATA 2013, oil on board,
coat of acrylic gesso. I’m still painting those kinds of 10 3/4 x 9 3/4 in.
sketches, and I’m filling up the 11th binder, each one NAME: John Pototschnik Private collection
containing 100 color studies placed in sleeves. Working BIRTHDATE: 1945 Plein air
small on a portable substrate has been a great way to LOCATION: Wylie, TX This painting received
create a lot of paintings quickly and therefore to speed INFLUENCES: “Camille Corot, Barbizon and naturalism an Award of Excellence
up the learning curve.” schools, Richard Schmid, and Kevin Macpherson.” in the 2014 Plein Air
WEBSITE: Southwest Salon.

58 August-September 2014 /

Barn at the Curve
2014, oil on canvas, 8 x 16 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

The artist explains, “When I’m traveling or white and oil colors by Gamblin and Winsor & is very important to their businesses, so they
going out to a specific painting location, I carry Newton that include ultramarine blue, cadmium understand how to navigate through cyberspace.
a stack of those gessoed sheets, pre-marked to red, and lemon yellow. He also has available They designed my website and encouraged the
various proportions. Once I decide on the ap- other reds, yellow, and blues, as well as ivory weekly blog I began writing in October 2010,
propriate proportion, I tape the paper to a board black, and will occasionally add yellow ochre or the first installment of which featured the crea-
attached to an 8 x 10-inch Open Box M pochade chromium oxide green. tive life of George Washington Carver.
box that holds four completed studies. Each Pototschnik says that selecting a subject to “An important purpose of the blog, of
study includes written information on accessing paint outdoors is a matter of “merging a number course, is to direct folks to my website. I found
the photos of the scene, the location, the amount of influences, including personal background, inspiration for the type of blog I wanted to do
of time spent, the date, the direction faced while temperament, knowledge, and taste.” He goes from James Gurney and Stapleton Kearns. Both
painting, the palette of colors, and the tone of on, “Beyond that, it’s about contrasts of light and
men are extremely talented, knowledgeable, and
the painting surface, if any. The painted oil stud- dark values, hard and soft edges, large and small generous. The artist interviews I do came about
ies then become accessible records of my travels shapes, rough and smooth textures, broad and quite by accident. My wife and I discovered
and are a constant help when I need specific, detailed sections, intense and dull colors.” the work of Australian artist John McCartin at
accurate information for studio work. Greenhouse Fine Art in San Antonio, Texas, and
“The key to successful plein air painting is Talking With Artists were overcome by its beauty and excellence. I
to keep equipment and procedures simple and Pototschnik has become well known to contacted him just to tell him how much I ap-
compact. When I go out to paint, all my supplies other artists and to art collectors through the preciated his work, and we connected. I wanted
fit into a bag that is 9 x 16 x 11 inches, if I’m using weekly blog he maintains. The text and images to learn more about him and his work, and he
the Open Box M pochade box. The bag will also in the interviews he conducts with some of the agreed to answer a few questions. Eventually that
hold brushes, palette knives, large tubes of paint, top painters in the country contain a wealth of conversation gave rise to interviews with more
mineral spirits, palette cups, a level, paper towels, information. In many blog posts, he features the than 50 artists.”
masking tape, and assorted items, just in case. My artists’ backgrounds, experiences, and opinions Pototschnik goes on, “I enjoy writing
other supplies include Robert Simmons flat bristle on relevant issues. Other blog posts offer the and believe I express myself more effectively
brushes, Rosemary Ivory flat and rigger brushes, results of questionnaires Pototschnik sends to through the written word than orally. The
and a few synthetic rounds thrown in for good artists to gather opinions about issues that mat- blog has turned out to be a wonderful learn-
measure. I also carry a compact Bogen tripod. For ter to painters. ing experience, and I’ve had the opportunity
larger plein air works, I use a Soltek easel.” “My blog is a result of encouragement and to correspond with some really great people.
The palette of colors Pototschnik uses in- direction from my two sons, who are both self- I’ve also learned that people who follow the
cludes Winsor & Newton Griffin alkyd titanium employed,” the artist says. “Internet marketing blog appreciate receiving in-depth, informative, / August-September 2014 59

Left Behind
2012, oil on board,
9 3/4 x 15 in.
Private collection
Plein air
This painting won the
Best of Show award
in the 2013 Plein Air
Southwest Salon.

East Texas Morning

2014, oil on board,
9 1/4 x 18 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

60 August-September 2014 /

artist profile

educational, and inspirational material. It’s a

win-win for all of us. It does take a lot of work,
but readers have expressed their appreciation
and have now begun to offer suggestions for
future postings.”
Many artists develop a blog and website
as a way of selling paintings over the Internet,
but Pototschnik says that most of his sales still
come through the galleries that represent him.
But Internet sales are increasing as a result of his
weekly postings on Facebook, and a monthly
newsletter in which he has a special offer for

JOHN POTOTSCHNIK studied advertising design at

Wichita State University, served in the United States
Air Force, and studied art at the Art Center College
of Design in Los Angeles, California. He moved
to Dallas, Texas, and began a 10-year career as a
freelance illustrator. In 1982, he made a transition
to fine art and, at the suggestion of a friend, began
painting en plein air. He studied for one semester
at the Lyme Academy in Old Lyme, Connecticut,
under Deane Keller and participated in workshops
with William Earle and Rudy Colao. Pototschnik is
an Art Renewal Center Associate Living Master and
a Signature Member of the Oil Painters of America
and the Outdoor Painters Society.

M. STEPHEN DOHERTY is editor-in-chief of Evening on the Beach

PleinAir magazine. 2014, oil on paper, 7 3/4 x 9 1/2 in.
Collection the artist
See more of John Pototschnik’s plein Plein air
air and studio paintings in the
expanded digital edition of PleinAir.

Country Thoroughfare
2013, oil on canvas, 10 1/2 x 18 in.
Private collection
Plein air / August-September 2014 61

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

A Quick Round
2013, oil on paper,
6 x 13 1/4 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

View From Deerhill Inn

2011, oil on paper, 4 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

View From the Studio

2012, oil on paper, 4 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

August-September 2014 /

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

Across the Fields

2014, oil on paper, 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

For a Moment, All the World Was Right

2012, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 in.
Private collection

Best Friends Forever

2013, oil on canvas, 16 x 24 in.
Courtesy Greenhouse Gallery,
San Antonio, TX
Studio / August-September 2014

pastel painting demonstration


Having Fun While Working Hard

Colorado artist Cliffton Austin plans and executes his plein air paintings very carefully, but he makes a point of
trying new approaches and accepting challenges so he will enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

ne would expect a former patent
draftsman and technical illustrator Cliffton Austin
to paint with complete control and
precision, and indeed Cliffton Austin has the
technical proficiency to make all his paintings
successful. But he might become very bored if
his efforts were too measured, repetitive, and
predictable. “I loved being a technical illustra-
tor, patent draftsman, and office manager after
I left art school because I had the opportunity
to hone my drawing skills and earn a living
doing something I enjoyed,” he says. “Plein
air painting also involves a lot of training and
effort, but it also affords the opportunity to
enjoy being creative, responding to nature,
and sharing perceptions with others. Hav-
ing fun and being satisfied can make any task
The “fun” Austin is referring to comes
from exploring new locations, materials, and
methods. He works in watercolor, gouache,
oils, and pastels both on location and in the
studio, and the selection of supplies and
procedures he uses with each of those media the fine-tooth, quick-drying acrylic primer gave medium values with pure color, followed by the
may vary significantly from one painting to him a painting surface with just enough tooth lighter values. I don’t add thick highlights until
the next. “I read books and magazines, paint to hold the softer pastels. the very end, and think of them almost as abstract
alongside other plein air artists, and watch Austin also experimented with different ways expressionist marks.”
demonstrations, and those often give me ideas to lay down washes of color before applying the
to try,” Austin says. “Not all of them will work soft pastels. He first drew the big shapes with hard
for me, but over the years I have made changes pastel or gouache and dissolved the colors so they ARTIST DATA
that were for the better.” would become more transparent and would fill
When he first started using pastels, Austin the larger shapes. In other paintings, he used trans- NAME: Cliffton C. Austin
worked with Rembrandt brand pastels on a parent watercolors to paint the underlying large BIRTHDATE: 1956
range of surfaces from smooth to gritty. Later, shapes. Ultimately, he decided to add strokes of LOCATION: Aurora, CO
he began using softer brands like Terry Ludwig Terry Ludwig plum or eggplant violet (v100) color INFLUENCES: “Art history, abstract
and Sennelier, and that necessitated switch- to the homemade boards and dissolve that layer of impressionists, contemporary realists,
ing to textured surfaces that held significant pastels with a fast-drying solvent. neo-impressionists, magazine illustra-
amounts of pastel. “I rub the plum-colored pastel with enough tors, friends, and critics. There are just
He then came up with the idea of making pressure to scratch the surface of the prepared too many names to list.”
his own supports by coating sheets of foamcore panel and leave a nice deposit of pastel,” Austin WEBSITE:
or gatorboard acid-free boards with Art Spec- explains. “Then I dissolve the pastel to establish
trum Colourfix Primer in aubergine. Applying a transparent, dark value. I then introduce the

62 August-September 2014 /

On the Verge of Orange representational painting. The fact is that good scaffolding beneath the structure of his repre-
2014, pastel, 12 x 16 in. art has a solid abstract design basis, and the sentational paintings. Similarly, a formal com-
Collection the artist only significant difference between abstract and positional plan helps him develop the relation-
Studio representational is the amount of detail the art- ship of shapes, values, and edges. For example,
ist needed to tell his or her story. he believes in the merits of the principle of
Austin talks a great deal about the positive “I still hold on to concepts inherent in threes — three major divisions of the painting
influence of paintings by such notable abstract abstraction, especially when creating drawings. surface, three major shapes, three values, three
painters as Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, I need a strong abstract foundation in my work dominant colors, etc. “Those simple ideas can
Mark Rothko, and Clifford Still. “When I was before I can create the illusion of three dimen- be tremendously valuable as a starting point in
a student at the Rocky Mountain School of sions. Without that underlying structure, the composing paintings so they engage viewers,”
Art in the late 1970s and early 1980s, those final painting will look hokey.” he says emphatically.
painters were my heroes,” he recalls. “There has Reflecting these strongly held beliefs, the Austin works with both oils and pastels
been an unnecessary battle between commercial artist thinks of the initial washes of color and outdoors, depending on the location and cir-
art and fine art, as well as between abstract and lifted highlights as the underlying abstract cumstances. “A full range of pastels can be quite / August-September 2014 63

pastel painting demonstration

Demonstration: Kissing Trees

STEP 2: A page
from the artist’s
sketchbook in
which he has
made linear

STEP 3: Drawings
Austin made to
determine the
composition of

STEP 1: Austin sets up his French easel, with a painting panel trough to
catch loose pastels, and his standard box of landscape colors.

STEP 4: Austin applies broad strokes of pastel to indicate the compo- STEP 5: Using a fast-drying solvent, Austin dissolves these initial
sition of colors. strokes of pastel.

64 August-September 2014 /

STEP 6: After drawing lines to mark the placement of big shapes, the STEP 7: The light-valued shapes are indicated through the center of
artist begins to block in local colors. the composition.

STEP 8: The artist makes adjustments in the arrangement of light and STEP 9: Specific details are added to further define the location.
dark shapes. / August-September 2014 65

pastel painting demonstration


Kissing Trees
2014, pastel, 12 x 16 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

66 August-September 2014 /

Saw Hill Ponds
2011, pastel, 12 x 16 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

heavy to haul up a mountain trail or carry a distance away from my car,

so I have to either travel with a limited palette of colors or set up near
my automobile,” he says. “Moreover, it is easier to sell oil paintings than
pastel pieces at a plein air festival because there is often glare on the glass
that makes it hard for viewers to see the total picture, especially if the
paintings are displayed outdoor in full sunlight.”
Austin makes his own oil painting panels from quarter-inch MDF
board coated with two or three layers of acrylic gesso or with portrait-
grade canvas. He mounts the panels in an Easy-L pochade box. His
palette of colors includes titanium-zinc white, cadmium yellow medium,
cadmium orange, yellow ochre, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, burnt
umber, sap green, permanent green light, and ivory black. He mixes Liq-
uin alkyd medium with those oil colors to speed up the drying time.

M. STEPHEN DOHERTY is the editor-in-chief of PleinAir magazine.

See more of Cliffton C. Austin’s oil and pastel paintings in the

expanded digital edition of PleinAir.

Shanty Lair O’the Bear

2013, pastel, 11 x 14 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air
Expanded Digital Edition Content

pastel painting demonstration

Dekoevend Park
2009, pastel, 11 x 14 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

Canyon Rock
2014, oil, 16 x 20 in.
Collection the artist
Expanded Digital Edition Content

pastel painting demonstration

Fall Confetti
2011, pastel, 9 x 12 in.
Collection the artist

Breath of Spring
2014, oil, 16 x 20 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

Cherry Creek
2014, pastel, 12 x 16 in.
Collection the artist
oil painting demonstration


Warming the Colors

of a Landscape
Utah artist John Hughes paints on reddish-toned panels, or intentionally shifts paint mixtures so
warm colors dominate. Those procedures, plus strong compositions and careful suggestions of detail,
make his plein air pieces more engaging for viewers.

he materials and techniques John The value of this kind of information for
Hughes uses to create his impressive John Hughes painters is that it may increase their awareness
landscapes may vary from one painting of the power they have to influence people’s
to the next and one year to the next. They may response to the visual world. An artist can shift
also be quite different from the ones he uses color mixtures in one direction or another to
when working on larger canvases in his studio. convey a particular idea or feeling about a loca-
But no matter how often he might shift from tion, and observers may not even be able to say
being a “wild child painter,” as he calls himself exactly why they respond enthusiastically to the
when he’s doing quick studies, to an artist who artist’s work.
labors over the details in an oil painting, he “I often start a landscape painting by apply-
always arrives at a point at which he celebrates ing a thin wash of a warm, reddish color across
nature in ways that attract the attention of col- the entire surface of a canvas,” Hughes explains.
lectors, students, and fellow artists. “That color is made from a combination of
There is much about Hughes’ creative transparent oxide red, a touch of ultramarine
process that results from his innate talent and blue, and a small amount of quinacridone rose.
excellent drawing skills, but there are also While the oil color is still wet, I use a bristle
aspects of that process that can be shared with ARTIST DATA brush or cloth dampened with odorless mineral
painters aiming to make better connections spirits to wipe off selective areas of paint to
with a viewing public. Chief among them are NAME: John Hughes introduce the lighter-valued shapes in the
those that allow warm colors to become more BIRTHDATE: 1949 composition. Additionally, I place a few dark
important to a painting than cool ones. LOCATION: Taylorsville, UT accents in order to set up a value balance. After
While painters don’t want to follow trends INFLUENCES: “John Singer Sargent, those simple steps, I have an indication of how
in interior design or fashion, there is something Sorolla, John F. Carlson, Edgar Payne, the drawing and composition of values might
to be learned from experts in those fields who Hanson Puthuff, the Ash Can School, as evolve. If I’m not satisfied, I can easily wipe out
consider the impact of color on the sale of a well as many other living and deceased or wash more reddish color over the surface and
home, the success of a job interview, a patient’s artists.” adjust the placement of the three main values.”
health, the productivity of workers, and the WEBSITE: Once Hughes is finished establishing
perceived temperature in a room. In all those what he calls a “monochromatic block-in,” he
situations, warmer colors will have a more posi- begins adding local colors on top of the still-wet
tive impact than cooler ones. expert on person-centered design, pointed out underpainting. That tone influences any color
Amy Morin, a writer for, that response to color is influenced by a person’s applied over it, either by mixing with the new
made the point about preferences for warm cultural background, associations with past layer of oil or by peeking through gestured
colors in an article she wrote after interviewing experiences, and the environment in which the brush marks or thinly painted peripheral areas
Sally Augustin, Ph.D., to find out more about color appears. Nevertheless, warm colors and of the picture.
color psychology. Augustin, an environmental warm shades of colors are generally considered Hughes often makes a statement to his
psychologist and internationally recognized more stimulating and attractive. students that sums up his philosophy about

68 August-September 2014 /

balancing the abstract and representational
aspects of painting: “In painting, the literal
gives meaning to the abstract, but the abstract
gives beauty to the literal. When combined,
the two transcend what could be accomplished
alone.” The artist covers similar aspects of his
philosophy in his blog. For example, several
years ago he wrote about the importance of
establishing a mood in a painting and not
focusing on precise details:
“The task of painting in a painterly way is
a very different concept from what most people
think. For one thing, it is less about ‘things’
being painted, and more about the way light
affects these ‘things.’ That is why a typical
architectural rendering, though usually correct
in detail and scale, is seldom on the level of fine
art. Also, painting light effects is just as con-
cerned with how much to leave out of a paint-
ing as it is with how much to put in. If you can
paint a scene correctly with regard to how light
is affecting the various forms in the painting,
the details will take care of themselves. Focus-
ing only on details and being concerned about
‘things’ may leave an artist with a painting that
is essentially a list of parts (assembly required)
and it will obscure the real job of the painter.”
Hughes doesn’t always go through these
Ventura Harbor Study Ventura Harbor steps of applying and lifting paint when he is
2013, oil, 8 x 10 in. The scene where working outdoors because time is limited by the
Collection the artist Ventura Harbor shifting light and weather patterns. Sometimes
Plein air Study was painted he prefers a more direct approach and goes right
into the color from the start. However, the idea
of starting with an overall reddish warm tone
on his painting surface gets him into the habit
of pushing colors towards a balance in favor of
warm over cool temperatures.
Hughes adds either Liquin or Galkyd
medium to his oils to speed up the drying time,
and he works primarily with bristle brushes and
one or two soft-hair detail brushes. He often
applies retouch varnish to dry paintings in
progress to even out the surface gloss and bring
back the sunken darks, or he will oil out a dry
painting surface with a diluted Galkyd formula
when he wants to continue working on a
painting with wet-in-wet brush work. The sizes
of plein air paintings range from 6 x 8 inches
up to 24 x 30. He uses an Open Box M, French,
or Anderson easel depending on the size of
panel on which he will be painting. / August-September 2014 69

oil painting demonstration

Mountain Stream

STEP 1: The
scene Hughes
selected for
his painting

STEP 2: Hughes
applies a thin
wash of a warm
oil color made
by combining
oxide red, a
touch of
blue, and a
small amount
of quinacridone

STEP 3: The
artist wipes
areas of lighter
value in the
sky and rocks,
then uses
more of the
reddish wash
to indicate the
placement of
trees and other

70 August-September 2014 /

STEP 4: After
adding more
blue to the
tonal mixture,
he paints the
darkest values
in the scene.


Mountain Stream
2013, oil, 16 x 24 in.
Mountain Trails, Jackson Hole, WY
Plein air / August-September 2014 71

oil painting demonstration

Mt. Millicent Study

2012, oil, 8 x 10 in.
Private collection
Plein air

Canyon Field Study

2012, oil, 8 x 10 in.
Private collection
Plein air

72 August-September 2014 /

Alta Hills
2014, oil, 10 x 12 in.
Courtesy Montgomery Lee
Fine Art, Park City, UT

Cottonwood Stream
2012, oil, 8 x 10 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air / August-September 2014 73

Pines and Rocks
Above Twin Lakes
2014, oil, 20 x 24 in.
Courtesy Montgomery
Lee Fine Art, Park City, UT JOHN HUGHES has been painting the landscape both in and out of the
Studio studio since 1983. Although he had been painting on and off since his early
teens in New York, where he grew up, he says, “That was the year I really
got serious about my art.” John and his wife, Teresa, have lived in Salt Lake
City, Utah, since 1991, and he maintains a studio in Taylorsville. He teaches
private plein air workshops each summer, and an oil painting class at
Salt Lake Community College. He also teaches workshops through Kings
Cottage Gallery in Salt Lake and for the Scottsdale Artist School in the Grand
Teton National Park.

M. STEPHEN DOHERTY is editor-in-chief of PleinAir magazine.

See more of John Hughes’ plein air and studio paintings in the
expanded digital edition of PleinAir.

74 August-September 2014 /

Expanded Digital Edition Content

oil painting demonstration

Anacapa Island
2013, oil, 16 x 24 in.
Courtesy Mountain Trails Gallery Jackson Hole, WY
Studio / August-September 2014

Little Italy Midway Plein Air
2012, oil, 10 x 12 in. 2013, oil, 10 x 12 in.
Collection the artist Private collection
Studio Plein air

August-September 2014 /

plein air events

Paintings Selected in April-May Salon Competition

he first group of artists eligible for
the $15,000 Grand Prize in the
2015 PleinAir Salon were announced
recently by PleinAir magazine. Carl Bretzke
won First Place for his oil painting The Winter
of 2014 (In Memory Of ). Barbara Jaenicke
took Second Place, and Third Place was won
by Patricia Bellerose. Best Plein Air (all
subject matter) was won by John Cook, the
Best Figure in the Landscape award went to
Marc Dalessio, and the Best Water award
was won by Haidee-Jo Summers. Deborah
Tilby earned the Best Landscape award,
and the Best Nocturne prize went to Jim
Wodark. Christopher Leeper won for Best
Floral, and Best Building went to Anne
Blair Brown for Treasured Past, the painting
reproduced on the cover of this issue. Jeffrey
Larson nabbed Best Still Life with Pail and
The $21,000 in prizes for 2015 Salon
The Winter of 2014 (In Memory Of) will be awarded next April at the 2015 Plein Air Convention & Expo. The PleinAir Salon con-
Carl Bretzke sists of six bi-monthly contests, with the First, Second, and Third Place winners of each contest
2014, oil, 24 x 36 in. automatically entered into the annual competition. The Grand Prize in the annual competition is
First Place award winner $15,000 cash and the publication of the winning image on the cover of PleinAir magazine, along
with a feature story. Second Place earns an artist $3,000, and Third Place yields $1,500 in cash.
Three additional finalists win $500.

Boat Yard
Monterey Moonbeam John Cook
Jim Wodark 2013, oil, 8 x 20 in.
2014, oil, 20 x 20 in. Best Plein Air award winner
Winner of the Best Nocturne award / August-September 2014 75

plein air events

Artists Once Again Gather in the Adirondack Mountains

rtists of all levels, from beginners to journeymen to top-selling gallery painters, were drawn to the
northernmost reaches of New York state for the 2014 Publisher’s Invitational Paint-Out, June 18- Publisher Eric Rhoads
22 at Paul Smith College in the Adirondack Mountains. More than 100 painters ate, talked, and
painted together for five days. Each year the event gets bigger, with artists clamoring to return and enjoy
the camaraderie of the paint-out.
Patrick Barley is a typically enthusiastic participant. “Founded by PleinAir magazine Publisher Eric
Rhoads, the 2014 Publisher’s Invitational is the experience of being surrounded by 100 plein air artists, from
beginner to renowned, sharing what we all love: art,” says Barley. “Usually we come for one of these reasons:
to view great art as it’s made, to try and capture incredible vistas on canvas and paper, and to absorb as much
knowledge as we can. We’re never disappointed. Personally, I’ve discovered the fourth reason — it happens
the minute I arrive and lasts way beyond my last day at the Invitational. It is the addictive, palpable cama-
raderie. Within 24 hours, we’ve become a true community of artists. These are the reasons I — we — try
to return every year. It’s exhilarating, absolutely pure work, but just ‘plein’ fun.” For more information, visit
— Reported by Bob Bahr.

The Adirondack Mountain School Painters pose for a group photograph.

A group of artists paints High Falls.

A display of the hundreds of paintings created during the event

76 August-September 2014 /

New and Immediate
Way to Connect With

new project called “Where in the World Is...”
allowed collectors to see paintings created
by plein air painters the same day they made
them, along with videos that showed their process and
progress in making the pieces. The resulting paintings June’s Palette
could be purchased immediately.  Marc Hanson
Illume Gallery of Fine Art (Salt Lake City), the 2014, oil on canvas, 11 x 14 in.
Mission Gallery (St. George, Utah), and Authentique Courtesy Illume Gallery of Fine Art, Salt Lake City, UT
Gallery (St. George, Utah) sponsored the event, which
Atmosphere spanned three days, June 11-13. Recognizable names
Kathleen Dunphy dotted the long list of participants, including Marc Hanson,
2014, oil, 16 x 12 in. M. Stephen Doherty, Kathleen Dunphy, Kathryn Stats, Ron
Courtesy Illume Gallery of Fine Art, Rencher, Aaron Schuerr, Randall Sexton, Lorenzo Chavez,
Salt Lake City, UT Linda Tippetts, Kim Lordier, Lori Putnam, Kate Starling,
and Dave Santillanes.
Each participating artist recorded a brief video at the beginning, middle, and end of the paint-
ing session to help viewers and potential collectors get a feel for the scene and the day.
— Reported by Bob Bahr.

Canandaigua Interior
Awards Picked in Lori Putnam
2014, oil, 9 x 12 in.
Wayne Art Center Courtesy Illume Gallery of Fine Art, Salt Lake City, UT

Plein Air Event

ark Boedges won the Best of
Show award for his oil landscape
titled The Old Farm in the Wayne
The Old Farm (Pennsylvania) Art Center Plein Air Festival.
Mark Boedges Maryland artist Stewart White received the
First Place award for his watercolor titled Tent
Raising. Other awards went to Valerie Craig
(Second Place) and Charlie Hunter (Third
Place). Special awards and Honorable Men-
tion prizes went to Richard Abraham, Kathie
Odom, Dorothy Hoeschen, David Lussier,
Katherine Galbraith, Larry Rudolech, and
Michele Byrne, while the Artists’ Choice Make a Beeline
award also went to Kathie Odom. For more Kathie Odom
information, visit

Tent Raising, Radnor Hunt

Stewart White / August-September 2014 77

plein air events

Cash Prizes Won in Beloit, Winners in Plein Air on the

Wisconsin White River

ith a top prize of $1,500, the recent 8th Annual Edge of ohn P. Lasater IV took home three big awards in the 2014 Plein Air
the Rock Plein Air Painting Event drew plein air painters on the White River in Arkansas, including the Best of Show award,
to Beloit, Wisconsin. Kyle Martin’s Strong, After the Rain the Artists’ Choice prize, and the Purchase Award. Other awards went
won Best of Show. Matthew Holt won the Pride of Beloit award and to Jason Sacran (First Place), Nyle Gordon (Second Place), Tim Breau
$1,000, while Jenny Anderson won the Friends Award and $1,000. (Fourth Place), and Jenny Walker (Honorable Mention). Five awards were
The Patron of the Arts prize went to Jan Norsetter, and the Spirit of for works on paper, and those went to Marlene Gremillion (First Place),
the Arts award was won by Michael Reif. Honorable Mentions were Alicia Farris (Second Place), Gary Wester (Third Place), Joyce Hartmann
won by Paul Berquist and Carolyn Larkin. For more information, (Fourth Place), and Cynthia Schanink (Honorable Mention).
visit The First Timers’ award was presented to John Wooldridge, the
People’s Choice award was given to Jason Sacran, and the two student
awards were presented to Ava Obert and Michael Schraeder. Finally,
the award in the Quick Draw competition also went to Sacran. For
more information, visit

Awards juror Lori Putnam with Best of Show

winner Chad Smith Waiting for the 5-10
John Caggiano
Tracks at Sunset Quick Draw Grand Prize winner
Chad Smith

Finger Lakes Plein Air Awards

wards judge Lori Putnam presented Chad Smith the Best of Show award in the Finger Lakes Plein Air Competition & Festival, held June
5-8 in New York. The First Place award went to Kathie Odom, Third Place was won by Richard Thomas, the winner of the quick draw was
John Caggiano, and Honorable Mention prizes went to Deborah Hill, Adriana Meiss, Nikolay Mikushkin, Carrie Nixon, Roland E.
Stevens III, and Mikel Wintermantel. The winners of awards in the Community Paint Out were Helen Walter, Kristen Malone, Theresa F. Heinz,
Amy Stummer, Mike Novik, Tom Lightfoot, Leslie Bowers, and Hetty Easter. For more information, visit

78 August-September 2014 /

new products

1980 Oil Colors New Sketch Boxes for Pastels

Gamblin 1980 Oil Colors are made with the same dedication that goes into Designed for ease of use on location, the new Heilman Designs Sketchboxes®
Gamblin’s Artist’s Oils, but they are less expensive and are therefore ideal are ready to perform in tight spots, on long hikes, and in compact situa-
for workshop students. Other manufacturers might reduce the cost of their tions. Fitted with memory foam, the Single Sketchbox lid holds pastel paper
oil colors by using gels and waxes to stiffen colors and replacing traditional while its handle folds back to support the lid at painting angles. The Double
pigments with less expensive ones. Gamblin’s approach is different: 1980 Sketchbox has a tripod coupler and accepts the Heilman Easel. Feather-light,
colors are formulated with pure pigments, the finest refined linseed oil, the Single Sketchbox holds 70-100 half-sticks; the Double Sketchbox holds
and marble dust (calcium carbonate). Gamblin 1980 colors are an excellent 140-200. For more information and ordering, visit
value, yet have the luscious working properties that artists expect from
their oil colors. For more information, visit

Palette Garage for Acrylics

Acrylic painters have been asking for a Palette Garage that will preserve
Modern Watercolors acrylic paints because the paints actually develop a skin and harden as they
Golden Artist Colors has enjoyed the privilege of collaborating with artists dry. But if the humidity level is maintained, they can be kept fresh in the
to make the highest-quality professional art materials. That same col- Palette Garage for months at room temperature. The Palette Garage can
laborative process has produced a new, thoroughly modern watercolor also be used by oil painters who use clove oil wicks: Oil paints don’t evapo-
we call QoR. This new line of colors retains the best qualities of traditional rate, they oxidize, and the eugenol in the clove oil acts as an antioxidant.
watercolors, while its exclusive Aquazol® binder provides more color in The difference in the way these two types of paint harden is the reason
every brushstroke, offering a strength, range, and versatility unmatched in there are two separate models of the Palette Garage. Now both acrylic and
the history of watercolors. The unique QoR formulation accentuates the oil painters can keep their paints fresh and pliable for weeks. The Palette
luminosity and brilliance of pigments even after drying. It provides the Garage includes an airtight tube with endcaps that contain sponges and a
subtlety, transparency, and flow of a great watercolor, with colors that have Lexan paint tray. Velcro dots and spring clips are included to allow the paint
as much vibrancy and fire as the best acrylic or oil paint. For more informa- tray to be secured to a pochade box or palette. Available online only from
tion, visit in three sizes: 12”, 14”, and 16”. / August-September 2014 79

plein air adventures
Expanded Digital Edition Content


Painting Memories &

Fading Light in a Texas Canyon
In recent years, Kirk Richards has painted in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, about 25 miles south
of where he grew up in West Texas. “It’s a great landscape to paint in the afternoon light,” he says, “and the experi-
ence brings back memories of crawling around in the canyon when I was younger.”

ecause of Kirk Richards’ training as a
classical realist, his approach to plein air
painting is very different from that of
many other artists who work outdoors. After
receiving rigorous training as a student of Rich-
ard Lack in the late 1970s, he began painting
large figure compositions, portraits, still lifes,
and landscapes. That approach to landscape
painting was called “impressionist” by Lack, not

Kirk Richards painting on the rim of the

Palo Duro Canyon in 2006

because it related to the work of the French and approximately the same time over five or six days.
American Impressionists, but rather because “During the summer months there are very few
artists documented their impression of nature clouds in the sky, so it is easy to match the pattern
rather than its exact appearance.  of light and shadow over the five to seven days it
Richards explains, “Mr. Lack taught us to use takes me to complete canvases that measure up to
certain materials and techniques, and he showed 36 x 48 inches,” he says. “For canvases that are too
us how to ‘paint up to your effect,’ meaning we large to withstand the force of the wind, I make
would anticipate the fleeting, dramatic effects of several studies on panels that are the same propor-
light so we would be ready to paint those moments tions as the studio painting I intend to create. 
of beauty. Over the years, I have adapted his palette “Certain parts of the canyon attract a lot
to my personal needs, and I’ve developed my own of tourists and hikers, so I go to less populated
particular style of painting, but I still apply many
of the concepts I learned at the Atelier Lack in
Minneapolis.” ARTIST DATA
Over the years, Richards has created dozens
of small plein air paintings in Palo Duro Canyon, NAME: Kirk Richards
most measuring 8 x 10 or 9 x 12 inches. A couple BIRTHDATE: 1952
of years ago he challenged himself to work on LOCATION: Amarillo, Texas
larger stretched canvases, returning to locations at INFLUENCES: “My influences are varied,
but landscape influences include Thomas
Ancient Witness Moran, Dennis Miller Bunker, Willard
2006, oil, 30 x 20 in. Metcalf, and Ivan Shishkin.”
Private collection WEBSITE:
Plein air

August-September 2014 /

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

Evening in the Canyon and when I’m down in the canyon everything ap- to stretched canvases for larger works. He adds
2006, oil, 16 x 20 in. pears very close, so I often paint from the rim and walnut alkyd medium to his oil colors so they
Private collection look across the canyon for a longer view and more dry fast enough for him to go back day after
Plein air atmospheric changes. The best time for me to day with a dry painting surface to work on.
start painting is about 5:30 to 6 p.m., when I can The artist uses a limited palette of seven colors
locations where I can paint without interruption. anticipate what will happen with the colors and and white, including cadmium yellow lemon,
I particularly like views with large foreground values over the two hours when I will be painting.”  cadmium yellow medium, cadmium orange,
shadow shapes because the contrast of values When developing small plein air paint- cadmium red deep, scheveningen violet,
emphasizes the strong afternoon sun hitting the ings, Richards works on canvas-covered panels phthalo blue, ultramarine blue, and a white
canyon walls in the distance. The air is quite dry that a friend makes for him, but he switches that is a blend of cremnitz and titanium. / August-September 2014

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

Fortress Cliff
2008, oil, 22 x 30 in.
Private collection
Plein air

Distant Cliffs
2011, oil, 16 x 40 in.
Private collection
Studio, from plein air studies

August-September 2014 /

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

North End of the Canyon

2009, oil, 16 x 20 in.
Private collection
Plein air

Mule Deer
2008, oil, 20 x 24 in.
Private collection
Plein air / August-September 2014

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

Of God and Time

2012, oil, 36 x 48 in.
Private collection
Studio, from a completed plein air study

August-September 2014 /

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

Hazy Morning at Palo Duro Canyon memberships in several professional organizations,

2006, oil, 12 x 24 in. including the American Artists Professional League,
Private collection Oil Painters of America, and the Portrait Society of
Plein air America.

Richards has sold all but one of the paint- M. STEPHEN DOHERTY is editor-in-chief of PleinAir The Cleft of the Rock
ings he has created in Palo Duro Canyon State magazine. 2012, oil, 18 x 14 in.
Park, either through galleries that represent him Private collection
or through exhibits he organizes in a rented Plein air
space in Amarillo, Texas. “At various times
I have rented the gallery space for a week
or a weekend so I could mount my own
displays,” he says.  

KIRK RICHARDS studied with prominent

American painter and teacher Richard Lack in
Minneapolis from 1976 to 1980 after earning his
B.F.A. and M.A. degrees in art from West Texas
State University. He returned to Amarillo, Texas,
with his wife, Linda, in 1981, and the following
year he founded Atelier Richards. He taught
there until 1988, when he was commissioned
to paint three murals for the centennial of First
Baptist Church in Amarillo. Also well known for
his still life and genre paintings, Richards was
one of only 24 artists nationwide to be certified
by the American Portrait Society. He has held / August-September 2014

artist profile
Expanded Digital Edition Content


Thinking Abstractly,
Painting Realistically
While studying with an action painter, Michigan artist Don Marek became sensitive
to the psychological connection between artists and the action of their brushes,
as well as the impact of abstract shapes on a watercolor painting.

any artists talk about the underlying “When the weather is good, I do many
abstract structure of their realistic Don Marek paints on location. quick value sketches outdoors on 8 1/2 x 11-
paintings, but that’s often hard to inch sheets of card stock,” says Marek. “How-
see in their highly polished plein air work. They ever, I want to point out that before I even pick
eliminate brush marks, cover all of a toned up a brush, I ‘paint’ without a brush or water-
surface, and adhere to the principles of linear colors. That is, I look and I feel the calligraphy
perspective. These artists strive for truthfulness of a particular scene. I want the act of painting
in their observations. to be a dance with the materials, one of physical
For Don Marek, the truth of a landscape interpretation.
has as much to do with the energy and emo- “My sketches may or may not turn out to be
tion it conveys as it does the carefully rendered successful, but I love doing them. They help me
elements within his view. “In the early 1960s, I personalize my experience and lead to stronger
studied with the Abstract Expressionist painter compositions. I use pigments straight from the
Charles Shannon, who got me thinking about tube to get the maximum benefit of expression
the magic of painting,” Marek explains. “He and exploitation of the ‘accidents’ inherent to
encouraged me to give consideration to the ma- watercolor. I seldom spend more than 90 minutes
terials themselves — the plasticity of the paint on a plein air, even when painting on a half-sheet
and its effect on the flat pictorial space, the
color of moods, the drama of light and shadow,
and the transformation of shapes into symbols.
The magic was in the metamorphoses between
abstraction and realism.”
Over the years, Marek found that water-
color gave him the best opportunity to explore
and exploit the act of painting. The medium
facilitates an artist’s use of bold splashes of color,
fluid paint mixtures, and varying degrees of
opacity and transparency. Marek learned to use
strong mixtures of paint to create a composition
by painting only shadow patterns and letting
the white paper identify the sunlit facets of a
building, as in the case of Vine Street Bannisters.
And he found he could allow fluid mixtures of
warm reds and cool blues to run together, as in
Mattawan Barns.
Back Street
2013, watercolor, 14 x 22 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

August-September 2014 /

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

develop the idea further on location or in the

studio. In making each sketch, I ask myself
what shapes are strongest and will hold the
composition together. It’s my way of making
friends with a new idea. I might develop 10
value studies of one subject, each one looking at
it from a different vantage point. Those sketches
are a starting point for a larger painting, as are
the photographs I take as reference. In many
ways, the studies give me the confidence to
change what I saw on location. I often tell
my students that if they get to know a sub-
ject through black-and-white and sepia value
sketches, the act of painting with a full palette is
easier and more prone to personalized interpre-
tation — watercolor painting becomes a process
of making things up. That’s how a painter can
get a lot of energy in his or her paintings.”
Marek finds it helpful to paint in an
environment where there is ample natural
light. His 15 x 20-foot studio allows plenty of
light to shine through the windows, and he

Lake Michigan Sunset

2013, watercolor, 14 x 20 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air
Value Sketch for Back Street
2013, watercolor, 7 x 9 in.
Collection the artist

of watercolor paper. If I work on a painting much

longer, the likelihood is that it will look over-
worked. Creating numerous sketches embeds the
image into my bloodstream, and at that point I
no longer have to think about it. I can just paint
quickly with the full action of my body.”
Marek continues, “I always make value
sketches of subjects because I might want to

NAME: Don Marek
LOCATION: Kalamazoo, MI
INFLUENCES: “John Marin, Tom Hoff-
mann, John Singer Sargent, Alvaro Cast-
agnet, Charles Shannon, Judi Wagner,
Edward Seago, and John Yardley.”
WEBSITE: / August-September 2014

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

Autumn Derelict
2012, watercolor, 22 x 30 in.
Collection the artist

Jared’s Pond
2013, 14 x 20 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air

August-September 2014 /

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

Beach Colors
2013, watercolor, 16 x 20 in. Mattawan Barns
Collection the artist 2013, watercolor, 12 x 18 in.
Plein air Collection the artist
Plein air / August-September 2014

Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

2012, watercolor,
22 x 30 in.
Collection the artist

2014, watercolor,
22 x 30 in.
Collection the artist
Expanded Digital Edition Content

artist profile

Madeira Cliff
2014, watercolor, 16 x 20 in.
Collection the artist

Amalfi Coast
2013, watercolor 16 x 20 in.
Collection the artist

sometimes works in his backyard on sheets of watercolor

paper as large 22 x 30 inches. “If you came to my studio,
you would see that I like a messy workspace,” the artist says
with a chuckle. “I like the visual excitement of chaos and
Marek’s supplies include 300 lb. Arches rough paper,
which he uses for larger paintings, and 120 lb. cold-pressed
paper for smaller sketches. Marek loves brushes and has a
great collection of squirrel- and sable-hair brushes. He says,
“It’s magical to take a brush, put it in paint, add water, lay
the loaded brush on paper, and watch a metamorphosis take

M. STEPHEN DOHERTY is editor-in-chief of PleinAir magazine.

Amaroo, Australia
2013, watercolor, 11 x 14 in.
Collection the artist
Plein air / August-September 2014

plein air collaboration
Expanded Digital Edition Content

6 Artists + 6 Canvases = 1 Painting

In a project they call Mash-Up, six artists painted outdoors on separate, equally sized canvases,
each depicting one portion of a scene. After they worked alongside one another in their own mediums and styles,
the artists merged the canvases into one painting.

e all know how informative it can
be to compare plein air paintings The Mash-Up artists work on their can-
created by several individuals who vases in San Francisco.
set up their easels at the same location. The
subject matter of all the finished paintings is
roughly the same, so the individual techniques
and styles of each artist become more appar-
ent. But how much more instructive would
it be to have all those artists working on one
painting? That’s what six artists have been
doing once a month since January of this
year. They call their project a mash-up — a
term that’s usually applied to digital music and
website content when material is pulled from
various sources.
“We are all primarily studio painters but
have come together for this Mash-Up project
and have been painting plein air on a large scale
at different Bay Area locations,” says Kevin
Moore, one of the six participating artists and
a professor at the Academy of Art University in
San Francisco. “The idea came to me in early
December 2013, when I was considering ways
I could collaborate with other artists. As soon
as I formulated a plan, I immediately contacted
five artist friends to explain the idea and invited
them to participate. The project just took off
from there.” Those artists were Brett Amory,
David Choong Lee, Adam Forfant, Kim Froh-
sin, and John Wentz.
Moore explains, “Each new painting begins
when one of us takes responsibility for being the of working. Every scene is different, and some logistics include scouting locations around the
director for that month and finds a location and are more fragmented than others. We do try Bay Area, considering security, finding a con-
maps out a six-panel painting. He or she tells the to keep a general flow, but part of the fun in venient date, and providing reference material
others what section they will paint and provides doing this is seeing the differences from sec- for everyone. It was a lot of preparation work,
a photograph or drawing that is gridded to show tion to section. For instance, I might really like even down to the math of plotting out the
what part of the image should be painted on each a cast-shadow shape at 11 a.m., but the artist image on each canvas. Once everyone was busy
canvas. The director doesn’t actually draw on next to me paints the light at 2 p.m. So while painting, I felt a sense of relief and reward.”
anyone’s canvas except his or her own. the shadows might not align perfectly, they Moore notes, “Having a different direc-
“We typically set up at 10 a.m. and work create an interesting rhythm. tor each month does add variety to the series
until 4 or 5 p.m. Each person finishes at a Kim Frohsin says serving as director is of Mash-Up paintings. And then there are
different time, depending on the complexity of a challenging task. “I found it to be quite a individual styles of painting that become
the section they are painting and their method responsibility on many levels,” she says. “The evident when the six canvases are put together.

August-September 2014 /

Expanded Digital Edition Content

plein air collaboration

The Mash-Up painting the six artists created in

May 2014

that takes place among the artists. “It was one of

the best painting experiences I’ve had to date,”
says John Wentz. “At first, I figured it would
be just like painting with a group of friends.
We would get to see how each of us works,
interprets things, etc. But it turned out to be
pretty different. During the sessions, we would
stop two or three times and put the paintings
together and have a kind of critique.
“That’s what really opened my eyes. Hav-
ing the opportunity to experience how others
see the piece evolving is quite revealing. Another
person would see things completely differently
than I would, and that was an invaluable learn-
ing experience, especially considering that we
have similar backgrounds.”
Adam Forfang agrees, adding, “It was strik-
ing to see that the foreground on my canvas —
which would have sharp edges and high contrast
— would transition into the distant background
of the canvas below mine. This process really
emphasizes selective focus, and makes for a very
fun and interesting visual experience.”
Moore says, “For me, ‘talking shop’ was the
best part of the whole experience. I learned so
much about the other artists’ techniques, ideas,
and materials. It was fascinating to see the dif-
ferences in our approaches. For example, David
Throughout the course of a day, we put all the There is universal agreement that one of relies heavily on perspective and his work is very
paintings down on the ground and discuss what the unexpected benefits of working together is
is and isn’t working.” the exchange of information, ideas, and laughter Another of the completed Mash-Up paintings
Expanded Digital Edition Content

plein air collaboration

The April 2014 composite painting

The June 2014 painting lies on the ground. The artists evaluate a Mash-Up painting in progress.

August-September 2014 /

Expanded Digital Edition Content

plein air collaboration

linear, Adam uses atmospheric perspective, Kim

is more of an Impressionist in that she reacts
to color, John is very interested in surface, and
Brett veers toward abstraction.”

M. STEPHEN DOHERTY is editor-in-chief of PleinAir


The Hespe Gallery in San Francisco will be ex-

hibiting the Mash-Up paintings later this year.

For more information, visit the artists’

Kevin Moore:
Brett Amory:
David Choong Lee:
Adam Forfang: Participating Mash-Up artists begin their June 2014 painting.
Kim Frohsin:
John Wentz:

All photos this article: Mike Cuffe


The January 2014 painting / August-September 2014

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September 5-7, 2014
Mt. Carmel, Utah
Invited Artist
September 8-13, 2014
Mendocino, California

< 7* 6 40 5 .> 69 2 : / 6 7 :

“Mid-Coast Morning” Watercolor on Paper, 11” x15”

J. Brad Holt

57 Chevy, 2014 9 x 12 oil

St. Regis Falls, Oil, plein air, 8x10 (Photograph by Richard Kendall) | 435-590-4808 | 561-309-0397

80 August-September 2014 /



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2013 PleinAir Magazine Award of Excellence winner - PleinAir Richmond

Wabash II, Chicago 14”x18” Oil on linen

Drying Out, Mutigliano OIL, 20x30 cm

Visit or email for

paintings of Italy, Zambia & other evocative places.

PALAZZA FERRETTI - Cortona (AR), Italy Sept.1-14

82 August-September 2014 /


Scott Ruthven Cecy Turner David

 Harms  Lee MacLeod
Saturday Morning at Ranch-Way Autumn’s Peak Bellvue Country Fall Aspen
Oil Watercolor Oil Oil

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“Tre Amici” 11x14 oil on linen

"Location, Location, Location"

Simie Maryles Gallery, Provincetown, MA
Show Opening August 8, 2014, 7pm
Painting Demonstration, 8pm • / August-September 2014 83

Mary McIntosh
Member Pastel Society of America

The High Sierras 9” x 12” Pastel

For a list of hosted workshops and available artwork, please visit


July 28-August 2nd
McCollum Gallery
Aug 9th- Sept 7th
SONOMA Plein Air
September 15-20, 2014
LAGUNA Plein Air Invitational
October 12-19, 2014
Signature Member
American Impressionist Society
American Society of Marine Artists
Laguna Plein Air Painters
Pastel Society of America

“Island Tradewinds” 30x40

84 August-September 2014 /


Paint the Beach

...Sandcastles to Shrimp Boats
A plein air festival in
Fort Myers Beach, Florida
November 3-9, 2014

Paint the beaches and byways of Fort Myers Beach.

National competition with cash prizes over $2,500.
Juror-Phil Fisher, Phil Fisher Gallery, Naples
Non-refundable entry $50 by October 30.
Collectors Preview/Awards party November 7.

or 239-463-3909 for entry or tickets.
Limited to 60 artists; Quick Draw November 8.

Sponsors: Fort Myers Beach Art Association,

Greater Fort Myers Beach Friends of the Arts, Fish-Tale Marina,
Santini Marina Plaza and the Town of Fort Myers Beach
“Reflections” by Neil Walling

Above it All Watercolor 11” x 14”

Exhibited: Haggin Museum of Art “58th National Exhibition”
Point Lobos Surf Watercolor 10” x 14” August 7 - September 28, 2014
Plein Air
California Art Club - Artist Member
Exhibited: Santa Paula Museum of Art “Quintessential California” Laguna Plein Air Painters Association - Signature Member
June 28 - November 2, 2014 California Watercolor Association - Signature Member / August-September 2014 85

Debra Morr

“Evening Calm” 11 x 14 oil on canvas
Debra Morr Fine Art on Facebook

86 August-September 2014 /

Celebrating Florida Landsca
Ringling College
Englewood Art Center is
pleased to present a season of
classes, workshops and exhibitions
dedicated to celebrating the ways
in which the Florida landscape
inspires artists working
in all media.

November 2014 – February 2015

Please visit:
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Sponsored by

Take Me Up, Oil, 20”x16”

Englewood Art Center
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16th Annual

October 12-19, 2014



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S i d e S t r e e t i n S a n M i g u e l 1 2 ” X 16” O i l o n C a n v a s

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FRANK BETTE PLEIN AIR PAINTOUT This painting was accepted into the Plein Air Artists of Colorado 18 Annual
FRANK BETTE CENTER FOR THE ARTS, ALAMEDA, CA JULY 28-AUGUST 2 2014 National Juried Exhibition and Sale at Abend Gallery in Colorado, Aug 9-30. | 707-768-3421 w w w. n a n c y h a l e y f i n e a r t . c o m 7 2 0 . 8 3 8 . 618 0

88 August-September 2014 /

Upcoming Shows Galleries
Just Plein Fun Mission Gallery
Debra Huse Gallery - Balboa Island
Maynard Dixon Country The Lodge at Torrey Pines
Mt. Carmel, UT

Cove Daze 12 x 24 2014 Laguna Plein Air Painters Association “Best of Plein Air” Grand Prize Winner



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Creating beautiful watercolors is easier than
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Join Kathleen Dunphy for this Introduction approach to teaching that involves sharing his PAINT THE LIGHT-FILLED LANDSCAPE
to Plein Air class. On the first day of this technique and knowledge, yet focuses on the
three-day workshop, Kathleen will help you OF UMBRIA, ITALY
individual needs of each student. This popular UMBRIA, ITALY
understand what you need and what you workshop fills quickly!
really don’t need in order to comfortably and
Workshop Dates: October 10-12 Join instructor Becky Joy at La Romita Art
confidently paint en plein air. She will discuss
Cost: $400 School in Umbria, Italy. Feel more confident
the pros and cons of several different brands of
in plein air painting, then taking it to the
easels, brushes, paint, solvents, and mediums.
Contact: Robin Knowlton studio to use as reference. Fourteen fun-filled
Kathleen will also discuss the benefits of using
Phone: 209.368.5123 days of relaxing, learning, and absorbing the
a limited palette. Students will have the oppor-
E-mail: sights and atmosphere of Italy. Build your
tunity to mix paint and discover the unlimited
Website: skills in composition, use of light and color,
possibilities for color using only a few tubes of
and brushwork to create paintings with your
paint. On days two and three, students get to
individual style.
try out their new gear on location. Kathleen
will demo and assist students with their paint- Workshop Dates: June 18-July 2, 2015
ings. Class includes time for questions and lots Website:
of one-on-one instruction.

Workshop Dates: September 26-28

Cost: $425
Big fun, excellent food, fine lodging. Paint Autumn colors, Gold Rush history, plein air
Come experience the legacy of over 100 years bucolic Vermont scenery, faded industrial vil- painting, photography, print-making, wine,
of painting instruction at the Cape School of lages, and obsolete farm machinery in weather music, gourmet food! Held at the Historic Op-
Art. Set in historic Provincetown, we teach that can be sunny, snowy, sleety, foggy, and era Hall in Sonora. Visit the Tuolumne County
the way of painting and seeing color as devel- rainy — all in one afternoon! Charlie Hunter Arts Alliance website for more information.
oped by Charles Hawthorne and Henry Hen- painting demos and kick-butt critique sessions.
Event Date: October 4
sche, which has been a tradition since 1899.
Phone: 209.532.ARTS
Instructors: Hilda Neily, Rob Longley, Mary Workshop Dates: March 18-23, 2015
Phone: 866.484.3669 Website:
Giammarino, John Clayton, Margaret
McWethy, Joanette & Cedric Egeli, Camille Website:
Przewodek, Lee Boynton. Please visit our
website for a complete listing of this year’s EXHIBITS, COMPETITIONS, AND
classes and registration. CELEBRATIONS: PLEIN AIR FESTIVAL
Phone: 617.717.9568 and 508.487.0144 PLEIN AIR MOAB
E-mail: MOAB, UT Call to artists! Join this juried invitational
Website: with 40-plus artists painting on locations in
Celebrate open-air painting in breathtaking Jupiter-Tequesta, FL, March 12-15, 2015. This
environments of Moab, Canyonlands, Arches four-day competition culminates in $10,000
National Park, and the Colorado River on in awards in cash and merchandise, including
October 3-11. The weeklong gathering of art- a $5,000 Award of Excellence, a Collectors
Study with award-winning professional artists ists and art lovers in Moab, UT, culminates in Preview Party, and a Quick Draw competi-
in charming Easton, MD. competitions and awards, public art sales, and
the shared appreciation for art in the South-
Nancy Tankersley west. Visit our website for an application.
August 15-17
Qiang Huang
Lori Putnam
September 27-30
The first annual outdoor paint-out at
Valerie Craig
Shelter Cove, located 200 miles north of
October 17-19
San Francisco. Capture the majestic Pacific
Shelby Keefe Ocean, towering mountains, redwood trees,
November 7-10 and quiet meadows. This event is sponsored
by the Shelter Cove Arts and Recreation
Coming in 2015: Foundation, the Humboldt Lodging Alliance,
Derek Penix and the Bureau of Land Management, King
Jon Redmond Conservation Range. This juried art show
Laura Robb will include $5,000 in cash awards and a
William Schneider painting demonstration by renowned artist
Kevin Weckbach Paul Kratter.

Phone: 410.770.4421 Entry Deadline: $45 by August 1/$65

E-mail: after August 1
Website: Event Dates: October 1-5, 2014
Phone: 707.986.7120

tion. Th
Three-judge panel headed by Morgan show and teach a workshop October 29-31. with quotes from any John Steinbeck novel.
Samueel Price; includes museum curators. Visit Awards over $5,000; up to three digital im- Artworks from any region of the country can
our weebsite for registration information. ages. Members: $35; non-members: $40. be inspired by any quote, so artists can be
creative in interpreting this theme. Upcoming
Early Entry Bonus Deadline: September Entry Deadline: September 6 monthly workshops at CVA include Randall
18, 201
14 Exhibition Dates: November 1-30 Sexton, Thomas Kitts, Ray Roberts, Ruo
Entry Deadline: February 4, 2015 Opening Reception and Awards: Li, Lori Putnam, Mary Whyte, Charles
Event Dates: March 12-15, 2015 November 1 Muench, and Camille Przewodek.
Phonee: 561.746.3101 Contact: Darlene Johnson
E-maill: Phone: 504.392.0215 Entry Deadline: September 15
Websitte: E-mail: darlenehjo
j hnson@ya
y Exhibition Dates: October 15-November 13
Website: Phone: 831.620.2955

Call foor entries for the Degas Pastel Society Carmel Visual Arts is holding an open call-
15th Biiennial National Juried Exhibition, for-entry competition along with a month-
being held November 1-30. The exhibition long exhibition in Carmel, CA. This event,
will be held in the Garden District Gallery in called “The Heart of Steinbeck Country,”
New Orleans. Margaret Dyer will judge the is an exhibition with artwork submitted

The cure for claustrophobia.

Bring the outside into your home. 800-610-5771 |

Oliphantsberg (detail), Marc R. Hanson

112 August-September 2014 /

Directory of Advertising
Alternatives Unlimited ...................................................... 81 George Stern Fine Art ....................................................... 18 Piedmont Plein Aire Paint Out.......................................... 96
Ambrecht, Cheryl ............................................................. 92 Golden Art Materials....................................................... 102 Plein Air Artists Colorado ................................................. 14
Anderson Fine Art Gallery................................................. 91 Grand Marais Art Colony..................................................89 Plein Air at the Lost Coast............................................... 102
Arterburn, Mike ............................................................... 98 Groesser, Debra Joy ........................................................... 15 Plein Air Moab ................................................................ 103 ................................................................ 105 Haley, Nancy .....................................................................88 Plein Air Painters of New Mexico .................................... 103
Artwork Essentials ........................................................... 107 Hartford Fine Art & Framing.......................................... 107 Plein Air Painters of the Southeast ..................................... 99
Best Brella .......................................................................104 Hassard, Ray ................................................................... 102 Plein Air Shorewood ....................................................... 105
Blue Ridge Oil Colors ..................................................... 111 Holt, Brad .........................................................................80 Putnam, Lori ..................................................................... 87
Body, Christina ................................................................. 82 Hou, Hai-Ou ....................................................................90 Rain, Osiris ....................................................................... 94
Botstein, Sandi .................................................................. 95 Hughes, John ....................................................................96 Raymar Art ..................................................................... 116
Brown, Anne Blair............................................................. 83 Immel, Peggy ....................................................................93 Riedinger, Kathy ............................................................... 93
Brushes by the Beach c/o G. Lee Gallery ......................... 103 Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival ............................................. 9 Riefenberg, Jennifer ........................................................... 15
Buffalo Bill Art Show .......................................................... 2 JFM Enterprises .............................................................. 104 Ring, Katerina ............................................................. 82, 98
Camille Przewodek Studio................................................. 81 Judson’s Art Outfitters ..................................................... 109 Ringling College of Art and Design, Inc. ........................... 87
Canaveral Seashore Paint Out..........................................103 Keefe, Shelby ....................................................................91 Rosemary & Co .............................................................. 105
Canson / Royal Talens ......................................................... 4 Kerr Arts and Cultural Center ......................................... 102 Rothe, Vanessa ................................................................. 86
Carmens Gallery ............................................................... 83 Laguna Plein Air Painters Assoc......................................... 88 Sangres Art Guild ................................................................ 7
Carolyn Lord Studio ......................................................... 80 Larry Cannon Watercolors ................................................ 85 Sawczuk, Bill ..................................................................... 11
Chong, Hiu Lai ................................................................87 Lindenberg, Richard.......................................................... 95 Sedona Arts Center ........................................................... 90
Christopher, Tom .............................................................. 97 MacLeod, Lee.................................................................... 14 Sharon Doyle Fine Art.......................................................80
Cultural Arts Council Estes Park ....................................... 83 Maguire, Pati ..................................................................... 86 Sidwell Art Gallery ............................................................ 89
Daniel, Laurel ................................................................... 97 Mary Pettis Galleries ......................................................... 91 Simandle Studios ............................................................. 105
Dawson, Debra Joyce ........................................................ 92 Maue, Mary ...................................................................... 94 Smithwell, Jennifer ............................................................ 94
de Braganca, Michele ........................................................ 84 McCown, Candice .......................................................... 103 Southwest Gallery ............................................................... 5
Debra Huse Gallery........................................................... 84 McCullough, Susan ...........................................................15 Steele, Robert Gantt ......................................................... 95
Edgmon Art .................................................................... 104 McIntosh, Mary Olivia...................................................... 84 Stove Prairie Press .............................................................. 17
EnPlein Air Texas .............................................................. 98 Mendocino Art Center ...................................................... 82 Strada Designs ................................................................. 105
Escalante Canyons Art Festival .......................................... 92 Morr, Debra ......................................................................86 Susan Lynn & Dick Sneary ............................................. 100
Fehlman, Mark.................................................................. 89 Murphy-Ferguson, Michelle .............................................. 88 Tankersley, Nancy .............................................................. 6
Florida’s Forgotten Coast ................................................... 13 Open Air Italy ................................................................... 99 The Wild Side Art Show and Sale .................................... 113
Gallery McCollum ............................................................ 97 Open Box M ...................................................................107 Value Viewer ................................................................... 100
Gamblin Artist Colors Co. .............................................. 107 Paint the Beach ................................................................. 85 Warm Springs Gallery ....................................................... 93
Garrish, Mary.................................................................... 15 Pamela Giarratana ........................................................... 103 Weber, Jerome .................................................................. 99
General Pencil Company ................................................. 115 Panel Pak.........................................................................104 / August-September 2014 113

painters painted

Susette Billedeaux Gertsch

ne of the reasons Utah artist Susette Billedeaux
Gertsch attended the 2014 Plein Air Convention
& Expo in Monterey, California, was to watch
painting demonstrations and meet some of her heroes.
Much to her surprise, she found one of those heroes, Jim
McVicker, painting at Point Lobos Natural Reserve during
one of the outdoor painting events during the convention.
“We ended up together in an area above the shore, and
I couldn’t resist the possibility of painting him in action,”
Gertsch recalls. “He is a very active plein air painter, so he
was quite a moving target. After we were both finished, he
suggested we trade paintings. This turned out to be the
most memorable of all three conventions I have attended.
I’ve already signed up for the 2015.”

Painting Jim Painting

Susette Billedeaux Gertsch
2014, oil, 11 x 14 in. Susette Billedeaux Gertsch
Collection Jim McVicker starts her painting of Jim
Plein air McVicker at Point Lobos
State Natural Reserve.

Coming in the
John Porter Lasater IV Debra Joy Groesser
2014 Issue of PleinAir
In the next issue of PleinAir, artists will explain how
they compose and paint outdoor paintings in which
buildings are a strong focal point. We’ll also feature
the 19th-century French artist whom many consider
the greatest plein air painter of all time, Jean-Baptiste-
Camille Corot (1796-1875), and we will catch up
with artists who have been on the road all summer
competing in top events, including John Porter
Lasater IV, Mary Ann Davis, and Debra Joy Groesser.
We’ll cover all the big events and profile the painters
who can inspire and inform our readers.

114 August-September 2014 /

hen I only have a few minutes, I enjoy creating with
    pencil. Sometimes a
quick sketch in black and white is the most elegant. I
created some at the last two Plein Air (competition)
events and they both sold! Need I say more?”
~Tom Lynch

Pencil Makers in the USA Since 1889
Factory Jersey City, NJ USA
Info PO Box 5311 edwood City, CA 4063 Made in the USA Since 1889
Tel 650.369.4889 Fax 650.369.71 General Pencil Company · Jersey City, NJ years