Thursday, January 3, 2019

Questions About Plein Air Painting Workshops: One-on-One Private Painting Intensive Program

(Looking for the post on Questions About All-Level Workshops? Click here.)
(Looking for the post on Questions About Advanced Workshops? Click here.)

Some of you may consider yourselves "advanced" plein air painters, but perhaps you still aren't quite sure where to go next. This post, the final part of the three-part series of answers to questions I get about my plein air painting workshops, concerns private study that is customized to your needs. As I have mentioned before, if you don't see a question that you'd like an answer to, please let me know, and I'll be happy to update this post.

How do I know I'm ready for this program?

This program is for you if you:
  • Paint outdoors regularly but feel you aren't able to take your painting to the next level; 
  • Are trying to sell your work and would like to learn more about the business of being a professional artist; or 
  • Would like to establish a mentoring relationship with me. 
For this program, you must be an experienced outdoor painter. Additionally, you must be able to provide digital images for me to review and be comfortable with writing a short essay, both of which will be necessary for the initial consultation.

Exactly what will be covered in this program?

The program is completely customized to the participant, based on the initial consultation. The consultation consists of sending me several images of recent plein air work plus answering a questionnaire (essay form.) If I believe I can help you, I will draft a proposal for the program, which you then approve. In the past, I've had participants work on "outdoor-study-to-studio" to improve their overall skill; we've developed marketing plans to help with the business side of things; and we've worked on refining our powers of observation in the field. In this program, you'll have the opportunity with work with me side-by-side in the field, and I'll also give you solo assignments. At the end of the week, I will create an "action plan" to help you on your path. Following our time together, I give you three months of additional consultation via e-mail.

What do I need to bring for supplies?

I have a full supply list for oil and pastel on my web site. Consider these items a suggestion, but I encourage you to bring them. If you would like to bring something different, please let me know, and we'll discuss it. For your customized program, I may ask you to bring additional or different items.

I'm flying. How do I take my paints?

Oil painters, pack your paints in a non-crushable container (a large plastic container works), insert a copy of the MSDS (Manufacturer's Safety Data Sheet) in with the paints, and label the container "Artist's Oil Colors—Made with Vegetable Oil—Non-Flammable." Tape the lid on securely. Put this in your checked baggage. Do not take mineral spirits or turpentine on the plane! Let me know if you need OMS, and I will make sure I have some on hand. Other items, such as brushes, easel, etc., you can either put in the checked bag or carry-on. Pastel painters, do NOT put your pastels in your checked baggage. Pastels are "carry-on only," and make sure you are present when the TSA officer opens your bag so you can give him direction in opening the bag. (I have a blog post with more detail here.)

How will I get my paintings home?

Pastel painters, just sandwich your paintings between two sheets of foam board, and interleave the paintings with glassine. Tape up this sandwich so nothing shifts. Oil painters, I recommend Handy Porters, resuable cardboard boxes that can hold up to four wet panels or two wet canvases. The boxes come in different sizes. When heading home, these can either be packed inside a second box and shipped home, or you can carry them on the plane. On the other hand, if the paintings are dry to the touch when you're ready to leave, you can simply stack them and interleave them with waxed paper and make a sandwich, similar to what I recommend for pastel painters. For this program, we may choose to work in a larger format, so you may want to consider shipping this larger work home.

How should I prepare for the workshop?

At this point, you should be painting outdoors regularly. I suggest you read my new book, Outdoor Study to Studio: Bring Your Plein Air Paintings to the Next Level, as we may have an opportunity to apply the practice I describe therein. Also, if you need a refresher or, if you haven't seen my approach to plein air and would like to do so, I recommend that you enroll in my Plein Air Essentials self-study, self-paced online course. My other book, Backpacker Painting: Outdoors with Oil and Pastel, is a good reference. I also have several videos through Northlight Shop.

Will I need to walk far?

Most likely, we will paint just a few minutes from the car but there are some locations that will require us to hike probably no more than a mile. I do recommend that you wear good walking shoes and have a backpack that can hold everything you need for our excursions. This is not a program for people with mobility issues.

Can I bring my spouse or friend? My dog?

Unfortunately, no. The program includes lodging, and the lodging space isn't suitable for a companion or pet. (A tuition-only version is available, in which case you will need to find your own lodging, but this would allow a companion.) If you are lodging on your own and bring a companion, please, no companions in the studio; the program is intended to an intense, one-on-one experience.

That's all for now. I do hope you'll consider taking a workshop or studying privately with me. If you are interested, please see the following for my schedules:
Paint the Southwest (all-level workshops):
Paint the Southwest (one-on-one private painting intensive for experienced painters):
Plein Air Painting Maine (all-level and advanced workshops in Maine):
General Workshop Listing (which includes workshops for art centers):

Also, I host painting retreats once or twice year.   These are for past students only.  Although there is no formal instruction, there is plenty of art talk, critiques and camaraderie.  Retreats are small in size, we all stay in the same place, there's lots of painting time plus an organized itinerary.  By the way, they are always in scenic spots!  Past retreat have been to Isle of Skye (Scotland), Lunenburg (Nova Scotia), Grand Canyon, Zion National Park and elsewhere!  If you'd like to join us on a retreat, first, make sure you've taken a workshop with me, and then make sure you have signed up for my newsletter!

A week's work!

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