Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Little Outing, With Otters

Along the Verde River

Now that I'm back in Arizona, I'm involved with my plein air painting group again.  It's great to get out with a few people in a scenic spot, set up and then see what happens.  Today, we went to a beautiful place along the Verde River.  Although some of the leaves had already fallen, there was still a good bit of fall color - with more to come.

River Otter Cruising

I spent some time taking photos before settling on a spot.  Along the way, I spied a river otter cruising the river.  There were a few others, but this is the only one I had my camera out for.  Below are some more photos.

After a crisp start (we had frost down at my house along Oak Creek) the day warmed up rapidly.  Those of us standing in shade complained about the cold, but those of us in full sun, like me, shed clothing as the morning progressed.

The River Otter's Playground
9x12 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson
Available - $500 incl frame and shipping in US

I ended up having to leave a little early because I needed to pick up a flat file for my pastel work.  I've been needing a flat file cabinet for years.  They are not cheap, but we got a good price on this one.  I'll post a photo once the rust is cleaned off and it is painted up.

By the way, if you are local to Sedona and the Verde Valley, I invite you to join out Meetup group.  We try to meet at least once a month, and we are always open to new members and new suggestions for painting spots.  Here's the link for it:

I also want to mention that I am offering a series of three Saturday pastel-only classes in January.  You can take one Saturday or all, since they are independent.  On January 9, we'll be covering Pastel Basics. On January 16, Color for the Pastel Painter. The final class on January 23 will introduce pastel painters to painting outdoors in Plein Air Pastel Basics.  Each class runs 9-2 and costs $70. Classes will be held in West Sedona.  Pre-registration required.  For details or to signup, email or visit

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