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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Portable Plein Air ... The Easy Way to Get Outside to Paint

'Distant Colors'         5x7    pastel          ©Karen Margulis
available in my Etsy Shop  $45
I'm glad I brought my little pastel kit on this trip.  It was actually a last minute decision because I wanted to work in oils all week.  But I filled my RayMar carrier box with wet paintings so it was time for more pastels. Today I painted them many moods of the marsh across the street from us. But I painted alone. My friends had brought their pastels but no one wanted to paint. It got me thinking....there has to be a way to overcome the barriers to plein air painting.

Some of the reasons for not wanting to paint....too much stuff to lug around. No where easy to set it all up. Set up and clean up is a pain.  Just too much trouble to bother.  I know all of these reasons come to mind and I can think of other ways to spend my time. But I know when I do get et up and painting there is no greater feeling of peace and relaxation.  I could take hundreds of photos but stopping for bit and trying to see and paint the colors in front of me cannot be beat. I know that taking time out to really see and paint will help me interpret my photos with a much deeper understanding. So I have to make it easy to just get out there to paint.

'Colors Across the Creek'         5x7     pastel
available in my Esty Shop  $45

My portable plein air set up
This week my last minute set up has worked very well.  All I have is a little box with an assortment of small pastel pieces, a piece of foamcore and some paper. It all fits in a small messenger bag. I put the finished paintings in between the pages of a local travel guide magazine!  Easy and very portable. I look for a bench or a table and I am all set. ( I will sit on a rock or the ground)

It was a great week full of adventure, hundreds of photos and a few paintings. I will definitely be back!


Michelle Wells Grant said...

I love that you remind us that there is no reason to NOT paint! These are beautiful as always! I've so enjoyed following your adventure there this past week.

Carole Buschmann said...

I'm heading off to puerta Vallarta soon w/ my hubby and was thinking I would only bring some watercolors. But after seeing our post I can see that it could be managed. Thanks

Anonymous said...

what kind of box do you use for pastels outside?

Sarah Bachhuber Peroutka said...

I've taken pastels and a pochade box with me camping, to India, Italy, Mexico... I don't always paint every day that we're on the road, but I do paint many of the days. Now I'm thinking maybe I'll put something similar to what you described in my car!

Karen said...

Thank you for all of the comments! I am just now getting caught up!
I am using a box I found at the thrift store that I lined with foam. I think it was from a game.