Monday, February 3, 2014

The Pleasure of Paintouts

Hot Rocks, 9x12 pastel - en plein air
Up for auction!  Starting bid $75
I think most outdoor painters would agree that, as attractive as it is to paint by yourself without interruption, there's pleasure to be had in painting with others. Part of it is companionship.  Who hasn't had fun chatting while you're locating your spot and setting up, followed by the occasional walk-around to see what the others are up to?  Another part of it is is sharing  your favorite spot with others, or to have another painter share his with you.  And how many of us have been intrigued by another painter's odd but surprisingly functional set-up?  Observe, ask a question or two, and you might find yourself introduced to a piece of painting gear or technique that will make life easier.

As some of you know, I'm part of a local plein air group, Plein Air Painters of Sedona and the Verde Valley.  We get out at least once a month for a little companionable painting.  Yesterday, we headed out to the Yavapai Vista trailhead between Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek (which is technically part of Sedona.)  Just off the trail and atop the hill, you get some beautiful views of Lee Mountain, Courthouse Butte and the Rabbit Ears formation.  I've painted there several times, but there's always something new to paint.  This time, I turned away from the obvious view and painted the hills behind me.  (You can see the painting above.)

Our group is hosted by  Although it's expensive - $144/year - it has excellent tools for communicating, planning and following up.  I particularly like the RSVP system so I know exactly who is coming, among other neat features.  Why not just use e-mail to communicate?  Well, you can post maps, trail details, photos and do lots more.  It's a pretty neat system.  To offset the costs, we ask members to donate $10/year.  Fourteen paying members is all it takes.

I know, this sounds like an advertisement, but it's not.  I'm hoping plein air painters who might live, either full-time or part-time, or who vacation here or who are thinking about visiting and painting will join us.  Even if you're only going to be here a week but plan to paint, why not consider joining us?  You can do so here:

By the way, if you sign up and pay, Paint Sedona will give you 5% (that's $15) off a Paint Sedona workshop!

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