Monthly Archives: September 2015

New at Plein Air Events

Photo taken in the back seat of my car!

Photo taken in the back seat of my car!

I am new at Plein Air events!  I just finished doing the Piedmont Plein Air Paint Out — also known as P3 (much easier to type!)  It was a wonderful event!!!  I felt so taken care of — beautiful hotel, treated with tender loving care, and amazing artists to hang out with — when we weren’t painting!  I was humbled and thrilled to get the “Artists’ Choice Award” — voted on by the participating artists. Yay!  I also sold three paintings!!  Hoping to go back next year!!

The real point of this article though, was to help some other “newbies” who are just starting to participate in plein air events.  I’ve only done two so far and I’ve realized I have a lot to learn — not only in my paintings, but in all the other aspects of these events.  I even googled “hints for plein air events” to try and get some ideas, but found nothing.

As you can see from the photo above, hint number one is:

Take decent photos of all your paintings!

I was so involved in getting them framed, etc. that all I have are the crude ones you see.  Apparently I didn’t anticipate that I’d actually sell some!!  So this one is gone and these are the photos I have.

Luckily I brought plenty of canvases and frames, but I know some folks did not, so I would recommend bringing more than you think you’ll need.  And throw in a few different sizes.  This painting is a size I don’t normally paint in but it was perfect for this design.  So hint number 2 is:

Bring more canvases and frames than you think you’ll need.

Part of these events is that you have to frame your wet paintings and have them ready to hang. So if you’re not versed in this skill, I would recommend that you practice before you go.  Also prepare a “tool kit” of all you’ll need to frame. So Hint number 3 is:

Know how to frame your pieces and bring a tool kit of everything you need to do that.

You’re under a time restraint in these events.  If at all possible arrive early so you have time to preview all your potential sites so you can make a game plan.  Plan to bring a cooler so you have plenty of water and snacks while you’re painting. Make sure you’ve brought comfortable painting clothes, with options for all kinds of weather. Hint number 4:

Preparation! Preview! Planning for your comfort while you’re painting!

Part of these events is social time with your potential clients.  Make sure you’ve brought adequate business cards and perhaps a bio about yourself.  You should attach this information to the back of your paintings so your buyer knows something about you and could contact you in the future for additional work.  And be prepared to hobnob with people looking at your work.  Ask questions, be friendly, shake hands.  You’ll have a name tag provided by the event – WEAR IT!! (I forgot mine a number of times!) Hint Number 5:

Make it easy for potential buyers to know who you are and something about your work!

It’s such a fun opportunity!  In your off time there are lots of opportunities to meet other artists and talk shop.  I was so overwhelmed at the talent of the P3 event.  It was intimidating!  But I found that all of them were warm, wonderful people!  I feel like I have a whole new group of great friends as a result!

My Ribbon!!!

My Ribbon!!!

Here are a few of the other pieces I did while I was there.

"Morning Light" 8x10 oil

“Morning Light” 8×10 oil

"Carolyn's Back Porch" 8x10 Oil

“Carolyn’s Back Porch” 8×10 Oil

"City Lake Clouds"

“City Lake Clouds”

Hope some of this was helpful!  I was pretty nervous going into this last event since I’m so new at them.  Hoping some of these hints will help another artist prepare and feel more confident going into one.  Happy painting!!!


Richeson75 Portrait/Figure Show 2015

Harmonica Mark

Harmonica Mark

Excited that this piece is a finalist in the Richeson75 Portrait/Figure Show 2015.  It also recently received an honorable mention in a local show for the Guild of Charlotte Artists.  I’m thrilled of course.  Most of the RIcheson75 shows are online only, but in this case they ask that you ship your painting to their gallery in Wisconsin for a final judging.  So cross your fingers!  I’ll ship it the beginning of October.

Many of you have asked why I named this piece “Harmonica Mark” — since he’s playing a drum.  Mark plays music with my husband and a group wonderful musicians, who jam at our house on a regular basis.  He plays harmonica, but also some percussion.  When he posed for this painting it just felt right to include this drum.

I’m in process of producing a whole series of musicians pieces.  I’ve done color studies of several and taken photos, but commissions have slowed me down getting back to the larger paintings.  Hope to begin them again soon.

All the best to you and yours!  And to those who it applies “Happy Painting!!”


Beyond Realism

Flowers Aren't Enough Oil 16x20

Flowers Aren’t Enough Oil 16×20

I love to paint people and portraits, but recently I’m trying to push it a bit beyond realism.  I love paintings that have undefined boundaries like the work of Terry Muira, Mia Bergeron and Carolyn Anderson.  There are many others who’s work I admire —but I love the “atmosphere” that’s created.  A likeness for a portrait is essential, but some of the most wonderful people paintings have little to do with that.

So I’m experimenting.  I was pleased with this painting before — when it was a bit crisper, but felt compelled to try to take it somewhere else.  So I started “mushing” and scratching at it.  The image underneath the most recent layers held true so only the last layer could be moved around.  But I like it.  I think it adds to her pensive, sullen mood —hence the name “Flowers Aren’t Enough”.  Our model had good reason to be sad, having recently lost her brother.  She’s one of my favorite models for that very reason.  She doesn’t hide what’s going on with her and as a result we get so much more as painters.

The other way I’m trying to push myself is with a palette knife.  I do quite a bit of my plein air with the knife and more recently pushed into portraits.  It’s a mixed bag. Very frustrating when you do want a likeness. Not sure how that will all pan out. It’s all an attempt to push my paintings beyond realism and hopefully in a direction that is impactful.

All the best!  Happy Painting!