Blog Profile / A Plein Air Painter's Blog

Filed Under:Arts / Painting
Posts on Regator:788
Posts / Week:1.6
Archived Since:March 11, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Going from Oil Field Sketch to Studio Pastel

Passage 24x18 pastel by Michael Chesley Johnson Available The other day, I wrote about taking a pastel sketch made in the field and using it as a reference for a studio oil painting. This time, I want to address the reverse. EarlierShow More Summary

Going from Pastel Field Sketch to Studio Oil

The June 2017 of The Artist's Magazine features my article on greens for the oil painter ("Going Green(s): Tubed and Mixed"). In the article, I show an oil demonstration in which I use just about every green from Gamblin I could layShow More Summary

Giant of the Valley: A Commission

"Giant of the Valley"12x24 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson I lived among the rolling hills and farms of Vermont's Champlain Valley for many years. Back in those days, I was a runner, and I enjoyed a variety of scenery in every town IShow More Summary

Thinking Ahead to Fall and Winter: New Program for New Mexico

You will still have red rocks to paint in New Mexico! Right now, most people in the northern hemisphere are looking forward to the long, warm days of summer. On Campobello Island, the lilacs have just started to bloom and the lupines are showing the first hint of color. Show More Summary

Slowing Down Time: A Painter's Perspective

Wild Apples16x20 oil/canvas, en plein airAvailable - Contact Michael As I grow older, I notice something alarming. An hour doesn't seem like an hour any more, and a year, not like a year. Instead, they seem far shorter than they should be. Show More Summary

Doug Dawson Plein Air Workshop in Sedona October 2017

I feel like I toot my own horn sometimes a little too much here. So, I'll take this opportunity to talk about an upcoming workshop that isn't mine. I'm proud to announce that Master Artist Doug Dawson will be teaching a plein air painting workshop October 30-November 3, 2017, in Sedona, Arizona. Show More Summary

My Inventory System for Paintings

Lifting Fog at Dawn11x14 Oil by Michael Chesley JohnsonAvailable! A reader asks, "How is it that you track and label all of your works?" This is a great question, because keeping accurate inventory records is crucial for a professional artist. Show More Summary

On the Road: New York Plein Air Painting Workshop

Painting along the Wallkill River Some time ago, when I was looking for new places to teach workshops, I came across the Wallkill River School in Montgomery, New York. What I liked about it was their mission: Wallkill River School has...Show More Summary

On the Road: Ohio Plein Air Painting Workshop

"Out the Window" oil demonstration(Photo by Nancy Vance) It's hard for me to believe, but it's been almost a month since we hit the road on our annual spring trip east. Right now, we're in Vermont. After weeks of cloudy, cool weather in the Champlain Valley, the sun returned yesterday. Show More Summary

Zion National Park 2017 Painting Retreat - Final Report

Big Bend I 9x6 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson Some readers have been curious about what colors I used for my painting retreat at Zion National Park this week. Well, in addition to my usual split-primary palette, I added a few "convenience"...Show More Summary

Zion National Park 2017 Painting Retreat - Another Midterm Report

The Watchman 9x12 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson Two things you can't get from a photograph are depth and color. To get a real sense of the depth of the landscape, you need to be looking at it with two eyes. Stepping back and forth in...Show More Summary

Zion National Park 2017 Painting Retreat - First Midterm Report

Court of the Patriarchs The best thing about Zion National Park—and also its most challenging—is its bountiful offering of both beautiful vistas and more intimate scenes. Every turn in the road gives you endless possibilities. The question...Show More Summary

Zion National Park 2017 Painting Retreat - Day 0

Dawn in Zion Canyon - Angel's Landing Trina and I are now on our way back to Campobello Island, New Brunswick, for our summer season. But first, we have a few stops along the way. Right now, we are in Springdale, Utah, for a painting retreat.It's been three years since our last retreat in Springdale, the "gateway" to Zion National Park. Show More Summary

April Newsletter from Michael

Plein air painting season is here! If you are new to plein air paintingor just need a refresher, check out April 2017Sedona, ArizonaSpring has hit northern Arizona with a vengeance. Wildflowers on the hilltop...Show More Summary

Goodbye to our Dearest Friend

Saba 2000-2017(Saba at Age 6) On Monday, on the first full moon of spring and the first day of Passover, we said goodbye to Saba. She'd been part of our family for nearly seventeen years. Since we have no children, you can imagine what she means to us. Show More Summary

Dynamic Duo Plein Air Painting Workshop - Update

This past week, I taught a six-day workshop jointly with another artist. Together, we led ten students through the pitfalls and pleasures of plein air painting. When we first started batting around the idea, I wondered how well "tag team teaching" would work. Show More Summary

Painting at L'Auberge de Sedona this Saturday

The poster says it all. --- Michael Chesley Johnson, AIS PSA MPAC PSNM

Painting Glare

I love to paint looking into the light. Rim-lighting and, especially, glare—glare off water, sand or pavement—are some of my favorite lighting effects. Getting the effect of glare in paint, though, is difficult. If you paint like a tonalist, you may end up with something more akin to a nocturne. Show More Summary

Greens for the Oil Painter - Plus a Workshop Review!

Looking for green this Saint Patrick's Day? I'm pleased to announce that The Artist's Magazineas made my Brushing Up article on greens for the oil painter available as a free download. The article appears in the June 2017 issue, butShow More Summary

Some New Small Plein Air Paintings

Contrary to popular belief, I've been painting. Yes, I've been designing my new web site, creating my new online course plus working on a dozen other projects, but I have indeed been painting. With that in mind, I thought I'd share with you some of my recent small plein air paintings. Show More Summary

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