Thursday, January 2, 2014

Top 10 Posts for A Plein Air Painter's Blog

Starting 2013 right in Jerome, Arizona, last January.
Hopefully, it'll be a little warmer this January!

Is New Year's Day a time for looking forward, or a time for looking backward?  Personally, I prefer to look forward - it's like anticipating the unwrapping of a gift.  But just out of curiosity, I thought it'd be interesting to see what my top ten posts were in 2013.

Interestingly, the top four weren't my usual essays on plein air painting issues.  Instead, three were about other people, and one was a product review.

Encounter: Casey Baugh
Strangely, the top post is about a popular portrait painter and instructor, Casey Baugh.  I sat in on a demonstration he did for the Scottsdale Art School and learned a great deal from him.

Product Review: Palette Garage
The second top post does have to do with plein air, but it was about the Palette Garage, a device that helps painters keep paint workable longer.  (It also works for the studio, too.)

In Memoriam:  Maggie Price
Coming in third is my memoriam for noted pastel painter and Pastel Journal founder Maggie Price.  I started writing for Maggie not long after she began the magazine, and although we both lived in New Mexico at the time, it was years before I finally met her in person.

Albert Handell Workshop
Fourth is my advertisement for a workshop that master painter Albert Handell taught under my sponsorship in Lubec, Maine.  By the way, Mr Handell will be teaching a mentoring workshop for me in Sedona in November 2014.  (See for details.)

New Colors from Gamblin
Fifth on the list is another product review, this time about some new greens that Gamblin introduced in 2013.  I still love these colors and have made them a standard part of my "expanded" palette.  They really cover a good range of springtime colors.

Help Me Pick a Painting
In the sixth most popular post, I asked for some help on deciding what painting to donate to the Verde River Artist Challenge, a fundraiser to help protect the Verde River.  By the way, the exhibition will shortly be making its way down to the Arizona State Capitol Executive Tower (January) and then the Audubon Center in Phoenix (February).  Also, these paintings are all up for auction, and you can help save this vital river by bidding on my painting here.

More Ideas on Transporting Wet Panels
Always on the lookout for new ways of dealing with wet paintings, in my seventh post I write about a homemade solution that anyone can make with some simple tools.

Starting with Greys
Post eight shows one approach to plein air painting, starting with a monochromatic block-in done with grey.  It's a great way to start a painting, especially if you have trouble dealing with color and value at the same time.  In this post, I show you how to start first with value and then, after the values have been firmly established, to add color later.

Light and Time of Day
Post nine talks about how the quality of light changes with time of day.  The best time of day to paint outside isn't the middle of the day; you get richer color in the landscape either in the early morning or late evenings.

Common Pigments in Tube Oil Colors
Finally, the tenth most popular post is about the composition of oil paint.  Sounds like a dull topic, I know, but when you start wondering how different "King's Blue" is from ultramarine blue, it's important!

By the way, I'm always looking for topics, so feel free to drop me a line if you have a topic you'd like me to discuss.

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