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Friday, April 11, 2014

Keeping Plein Air Painting Simple



'A Breath Of Fresh Air'             5x7         plein air pastel        ©Karen Margulis
Available for purchase $45
You don't need the kitchen sink!  I have figured out that the more stuff I pack for a plein air outing the less enjoyable it is. The best and most productive experiences happen when I keep my supply list and packing simple.

Did you  know there is a Pastel Supply Bell Curve?

It applies to regular pastel supplies and plein air supplies and often occurs at the same rate.  We start out with only a few pastels and some paper....this collection quickly grows as we discover new brands and colors we must have. Then comes a box or two or three until we figure out what we like.  Then an easel and if we take classes or do plein air we need some kind of cart to haul it in or just the right bag to put it all in. I can't even count the number of carts and bags I have gone through. (I think I am on my last and best!)

This accumulation of supplies continues until it reaches a peak.  We eventually get to a point where we are tired of hauling around all of the stuff. We want to downsize and simplify. We figure out that we don't need every single pastel or supply that we own to carry to class or out in the field. We can paint with less and we are just as happy!

I am currently at the end of the curve. I have pared down my plein air supplies to the bare minimum. And I feel so free!  It is all about adjusting the mindset and goals for painting outside. Once I decided that plein air was about doing quick studies I was able to let go of a lot of unnecessary stuff. 

A quick & easy set up for plein air
Here is a peek at my current plein air set up.  I have my Gogh Box on a tripod and I am only using the Great American Artworks Plein air half stick set and a few Nupastels. I have one backpack to put it all in.

 I am going to do a detailed post next week on my actual supply list but I wanted to get you thinking about where you are on the supply curve. Are you still collecting or are you ready to downsize?  Stay tuned for a lot more!




'Spring Fever'    5x7     pastel       sold


'Spring Tango'          5x7          $45

All of today's paintings were done on location at the Taylor Brawner House in Smryna Georgia. I have my work on exhibit along with 13 other talented artists through this weekend.  

2 comments:

Catherine Jeffrey said...

Lovely and loose. Always love your work.

Anita Stoll said...

I enjoy reading your blog. I get a lot out of them . Your work is fresh and delightful.