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Plein Air Painting Essential Tools: Sunblock or Sun Gear

If you're part of the average demographic for plein air painters, you probably already have skin damage from sun exposure. According to PleinAir Magazine's media kit for advertisers, 95% of its readership is over 40 and 54% over 60.Show More Summary

Tracking Loren MacIver

In my first college painting course, which I took several years after completing an art history degree, my teacher Arnold Trachtman said that my painting of the bathroom sink reminded him of Loren MacIver’s work. I had no idea who she was, and without the convenience of the Internet, never looked her up. Show More Summary

UES: Rudolf Stingel, Alex Katz, Jane Kent, David Storey, Richard Diebenkorn

Long, long ago, when paint-on-canvas art making was deemed irrelevant, painters began exploring experimental processes to make painting-like wall pieces that might wrest the conversation away from "new media" back toward object-making. Show More Summary

Plein Air Painting Essential Tools: Gloves and Finger Cots

Finger cots For painters, hand and fingers are as important as eyes. All the magic happens at the end of the arm.For a long time, I went painting in both oil and pastel without any protection. One problem I noticed, especially with pastel, is that my fingers and nails began to dry out and crack after only a day or so. Show More Summary

Starry night: Katherine Bradford at Canada

According to her son Arthur's poignant post on Facebook, Katherine Bradford moved to New York in the 1980s with two small children in tow. For ten years she slept on a pullout couch, sent them to school, and cooked on a hot plate. All the while she studied painting and dreamed of becoming a respected painter and making her mark on the world. Show More Summary

Art and Fiction: Petrushevskaya and the painter's whirl

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / If they are successful, artists transport those who view their work to a different visual and psychic environment that nonetheless bears some crucial familiarity to the objective one that most people consciously share. Show More Summary

Pastels Girault "Michael Chesley Johnson Plein Air Set"

Michael Chesley Johnson Plein Air Setfrom Pastels Girault and Pastels Etc. Over the past few months, I've been working on assembling a set of pastels. Although I have a Heilman Designs "Backpack" box that holds all the pastels I need when traveling by car in the US and Canada, I needed a smaller sketching kit for overseas trips. Show More Summary

The Painting Center: When color matters

Color is slippery. Anyone who has ever tried to translate a casually observed color into pigment on canvas knows that the hue will never be the same as what he or she remembers. Variables like light and shadow change the same basic color from warm to cool, light to dark. Show More Summary

Quick study: Bowie and art

Like many artists last week, I was surprised and deeply saddened by David Bowie's death. After spending hours gorging on the massive amount of Bowie-related Internet content, I'm inspired by his life and work--his enduring commitment...Show More Summary

Plein Air Painting Essential Tools: Pencil, Sketchbook

How many of us skip the "thumbnail" stage? For many years, I rarely made a thumbnail sketch. If the scene in front of me had an obvious design, why would I? The only time I made a thumbnail sketch was if I was unsure of the design. Confronted...Show More Summary

Plein Air Painting is About Seeing

This winter, I find myself turning inward to mull over some ideas that have been piling up over the years. One of those ideas is a video I wanted to put together. I feel that so many plein air painters, especially those just getting started in the craft, miss a concept crucial to it. Show More Summary

Revisions and resurrections: "The Silo" curated by Raphael Rubinstein

Gaining recognition in the art world is difficult, but remaining relevant over the course of a lifetime is nearly impossible. Raphael Rubinstein is fascinated by old art magazines from the 1960s and 1970s, where he finds images of work by artists who were once widely admired but have fallen off the art world’s radar. Show More Summary

Plein Air Painting Essential Tools: Small Painting Knife

Most novice oil painters resist the painting knife. After just having learned to manage a brush, a knife can seem as cumbersome as eating udon noodles with chopsticks. (Can't I just get a fork, please?) But a small painting knife in the plein air kit is a multi-purpose tool. Show More Summary

Interview: Clare Grill in Sunnyside

Contributed by Rob Kaiser-Schatzlein / A warm and serious painter, Clare Grill makes abstract paintings that are filled edge to edge with variegated color. At first the color appears to be in a narrow spectrum, but closer inspection reveals an infinite range of hues. Show More Summary

Plein Air Painting Essential Tools: Collapsible Trash Bag

I'm a little bit of a ham. I love to have my picture taken when I'm out in the field, especially when I've painted a masterpiece. For years, though, the photos were marred by the ugly trash bag—a plastic WalMart grocery bag—swinging from my easel. Show More Summary

Invitation: Presentation at Trestle in Gowanus

I'll be giving a presentation about Two Coats of Paint, some of my earlier DIY projects, and contemporary painting at Trestle Gallery on Tuesday, January 12, 6:30 pm, as part of their terrific Art Talk Series. A non-profit contemporary...Show More Summary

Mariam Aziza Stephan in Cairo

Visual imagination is the guiding force in Mariam Aziza Stephan's paintings. While on a Fulbright to Egypt in 2011 during the January 25th Revolution, she was fascinated by the country's rich but at times violent history. Most compelling...Show More Summary

Plein Air Painting Essential Tools: ViewCatcher

ViewCatcher Another essential tool for the plein air painter is the ViewCatcher. Made by the Color Wheel Company, this handy device has two uses. First, it lets you crop down your awesome, Bierstadt-esque scene to something more manageable. Show More Summary

Plein Air Painting Essential Tools: Leatherman Multi-Tool

Leatherman Multi-Tool: Open This is the first in a series of posts on what I consider to be essential tools and accessories for the plein air painter. I'm sure every experienced outdoor painter has his quirky favorites, so feel free to comment and suggest your own. Show More Summary

Two Coats of Paint Resident Artist: Gyan Shrosbree

I am excited to welcome Gyan Shrosbree for a seven day residency at Two Coats of Paint in February. An assistant professor of painting and drawing at Maharishi University in Fairfield, Iowa, Shrosbree works with fabrics, tarps, paint,...Show More Summary

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