We don’t usually see a plein air artist featured on the PBS Newshour, but last week they did a spot about NYT best-selling San Francisco- based illustrator and graphic journalist Wendy MacNaughton.
As a fifth-generation resident of the City by the Bay, she has written and illustrated a book about it: Meanwhile in San Francisco, which brings out the people, stories and details that usually go unnoticed.
Trained in social work as well as art, she worked in Rwanda during their first democratic elections since the civil war.
“Drawing, for me, is a way of looking at things. It’s like an excuse to look at something that I might otherwise be afraid of.”
We enjoyed a conversation today with Thomas Kitts, whose website has a wealth of resources for the plein air painter. In addition to a list of useful books and blogs, there are videos, magazine articles and a free download, “Advice on Painting from John Singer Sargent“.
Among many other practical suggestions, there are instructions for making your own flake white paint, repairing a leaking tube of paint, painting in the rain (in the car, actually) and a video of what happens when a portrait artist takes LSD.
This exhibit by our own Carl Judson consists of 24 panels that make up a 360° plein air painting, done in six weeks from a vantage point just north of Livermore, Colorado. Carl noted, “This is the only time I’ve had a sunset and a moonrise in the same painting.” You can click on the images to make them larger and see the paintings.
Due to the unusual format, he didn’t expect that it would ever be exhibited, but Artworks Loveland has a multi-sided gallery that works perfectly to show off the continuous multi-panel landscape.
The exhibit, entitled “Land Colors – Painting as Life”, will be on display through January 29, 2016. The artist’s reception will be Friday, January 15, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Hope to see you there!
One of our recent award winners, Kendall Portis, had an unusual journey to his current occupation as a professional artist. Trained as an illustrator, he spent 20 years in law enforcement before becoming an Embedded Police Mentor for an international training program in Afghanistan under the command of U.S. and Hungarian Army Units.
His website includes categories for Still Life, Figurative, Landscape, Works on Paper, Figure Studies/Nudes, Portrait and Animals.
“The central topic for me is very simple: Light. It illuminates the world around us so that we can see the awesome beauty of God’s creation. Regardless of the subject matter, I want to invite the viewer to experience the dance of light as it hits the surface of the object being displayed.”
In addition to his website, his work is available at The LONA Gallery in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
This year, the sixth annual Plein Air Moab, event taking place today through Saturday, will focus less on competition and more on education, camaraderie, and inspiration.
There will still be professional workshops, exhibits and a quick-draw competition, but there will also be free events, including “Art Experientials” – free workshops for all ages with everything provided, including canvas, paint and brushes. There will also be an exhibit of some 200 plein air paintings by 3rd & 4th grade students who have been studying the landforms & geology of the Moab area – Canyonlands and Arches National Parks.
“It is a friendly, enjoyable way to put down on canvas an outdoor experience – without judgment,” says instructor Margie Lopez-Read. “By painting plein air, individuals can learn to see what is before them in a deeper, more meaningful way. This appreciation of the environment, learned by artistic interpretation, has double value for children. Their age usually reduces their inhibition to participate in the experience, and their young minds are so much more open to creative expression.”