Q: Why do artists NOT paint outdoors?
A: Because they have painted outdoors!!
Most artists know there is a great deal of benefit to outdoor painting, but too often when attempted, they have not been able to overcome some of the hurdles that plein air painting can present. The setup can be precarious . . . and expensive; the palette in the studio is seldom easy to transfer to the outdoors; what sort of canvas or panel works best is a question; the light moves fast and we find ourselves chasing shadows; safety; hauling gear, etc. So much lines up against us at times, we just don't know what things went wrong. We begin to ask scary questions, like, "Is it me?" or "Am I really not that good of an artist?" and "How do I know what I am even doing wrong?" This can lead to a great deal of frustration, and I would guess results in Plein Air painting ranking right behind a trip to the dentist.
Have no fear, encountering this sort of frustration has so much more to do with the way we think outdoors than with any deficiency within us. True, due to the time constraints, outdoor painting will amplify areas needing some attention. That's just one of the reasons we go out to paint en plein air. Plein Air painting is not only about the finished painting--more importantlly, it's about the discipline of learning to become a stronger, much better artist.
But how much growth are we missing because we just don't know what to do when we're out there! This is where the Plein Air Launch (PAL) program comes in to help.
The P.A.L. program takes you from the very beginning of the experience through your first few finished painting. The core of the program is four separate appointments with me in the field. Each appointment will broaden your understanding and develop a basic mindset for working outdoors. That said, the heart of PAL program takes place between each individually scheduled session. I'll ask for at least one painting to be painted outdoors in between each session, photographed and emailed to me for review; I'll use Photoshop on your pic to reinforce learning, and I will stay in contact with you frequently as we go through the program. We can work together and make plein air painting an enjoyable and profitable experience for you as an artist.
Please know that I have developed the P.A.L. program from the experience of painting outdoors myself, regularly and a lot (usually twice to three times weekly). There are days I'd rather not go out, times I'm not in the mood, days the weather is too cold, too windy, or too hot. But, as famed illustrator Milton Glaser says, "Art is Work!" And it is. The price of growth is always a certain amount of uncomfortable toil, and if you are ready for it, I'll help get you started in a way that makes the "toil" we endure in plein air painting have real meaning, purpose, and direction for your growth. Also, I rely on others to teach me, all the time. What's more, I have researched and interviewed master artists who utilize plein air painting daily, most of whom never sell their plein air paintings or even let anyone see them, but have built significant reputations in American Fine Art with their studio work. Each one, to a person, all directly attrbute studio success to the discipline of plein air painting. So, what does that tell us?
On that note, I recognize that the four-session P.A.L. program is not for everyone, and that is okay. If you need a tune-up, or would like to simply get a very basic start, I can help you do that. In fact, that is the heart of Session 1, our first appointment. After, you can decide to stay on and complete the remaining three sessions and I hope you will. One session is enough to accomplish a good start, but I encourage the full four-sessions if you are working toward some serious goals in your painting life.
Don't worry, the P.A.L. program does not promise to teach you a technique, a formula, or standard regiment. As attractive as that might be in the short-term, it is detrimental to long-term goals. Anytime we toy with the idea of "formula" we risk falling into mediocrity in our work. Plein air painting is, 100%, all about solving problems, but there is no one specific way to solve these problems, the problems are new each and every time we go out. What this program WILL show you how to do is think in a structured, strategic way in order to utilize plein air painting for your growth as an artist.
In summary, no one can teach another how to paint better, only to see (and perceive) better. That is so true and what we'll accomplish in these four sessions. The P.A.L. program will equip you with a solid understanding of the plein air painting approach to growth, and, most importantly, arm you with some tools of thinking (perceiving) that will allow you to approach a scene, set up the problems, and resolve them in a satisfactory way--and sometimes, even provide you with a pretty darn good painting.
Session I: $50
Session II: $40
Session III: $35
Session IV: $25
Total for all four sessions: $150
(Please know, I do not request the full amount in advance :-).
So you can budget the funds, and/or budget the time for the homework I'll give, these sessions can be spread out as necessary, whatever works for you best. As there is not a firm schedule, I will work with you around your schedule if you will also work with me around my schedule.