Blog Profile / A Plein Air Painter's Blog

Filed Under:Arts / Painting
Posts on Regator:800
Posts / Week:1.6
Archived Since:March 11, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Plein Air Painting Workshop Wrap-Up: All Levels in Downeast Maine

Quoddy Head Fog 9x12 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson This past week, I concluded my series of all-level plein air painting workshops here in Downeast Maine. It's been a great summer with cool, dry weather and just enough fog and drizzle to spice things up now and then. Show More Summary

Etiquette for Plein Air Painting Groups

How many painters can you find? Overcrowding at National Parks? Aren't some of them, well, vast? Lately, there's been a lot of buzz about this topic. Zion National Park recently made it into the headlines as considering the idea of requiring reservations for entry into the park. Show More Summary

Plein Air Painting Products: PanelPak and PalettePak

Like most professional plein air painters, over the years I've gathered a variety of wet panel carriers for oil painting. I like each of them for different reasons. PanelPak is one I use most often these days because it fits in my backpack with all my painting gear. Show More Summary

Plein Air Painters of the Bay of Fundy - Paintout Report

"Antediluvian" 9x12 oil by Michael Chesley JohnsonAvailable - click for detailsPainted at Quoddy Head State Park, Lubec, Maine Location Shot for "Antediluvian" Each year, Plein Air Painters of the Bay of Fundy has its annual paintout. Show More Summary

What Makes You Happy?

"What Makes Me Happy" - 9x12 pastel - AvailableThis is only a sketch, but painting it made me happy.I really got into the drawing of the rocks. The other day, I went for a walk in the woods. Usually, I speed along to get my heart rate up—fast enough to scare every bird, squirrel and Sasquatch. Show More Summary

Post-Opening: Acadia Invitational III at Argosy Gallery, Bar Harbor, Maine

Posing beside my "Acadian Summer" (top) 12x24 oil Trina and I just returned from an enjoyable weekend down in Bar Harbor, Maine. As you may recall, this was the weekend for the opening of the Third Acadia Invitational exhibition, which was organized by Argosy Gallery. Show More Summary

Acadia Invitational III at Argosy Gallery in Bar Harbor

"Acadian Summer"12x24 oil by Michael Chesley JohnsonAvailable at Argosy Gallery as part of the Acadia Invitational Exhibition This weekend marks the opening of the Acadia Invitational III exhibition for Argosy Gallery in Bar Harbor, Maine. Show More Summary

Monhegan Meditations

Approaching Monhegan Island The tiny island of Monhegan, scarcely a mile across, gets a lot of attention from painters. Its fame is due to a hundred years of celebrity painters enjoying its charms. Rockwell Kent, Edward Hopper, Andrew...Show More Summary

Plein Air Workshop Report: Rockland, Maine

Port Clyde Puffin(no, it's not real) I just finished up a fantastic week in Rockland, Maine, teaching a plein air painting workshop for Coastal Maine Art Workshops. Usually in the summer, I don't venture far from my quiet home on Campobello Island. Show More Summary

Heading to Rockland and then Castine - Painting the Maine Coast!

Morning Glare4x12 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson$175 unframed - Available I'm about to head down to Rockland, Maine, to teach a workshop for Coastal Maine Art Workshops. Although I've visited Rockland many times, I've never painted there, so I'm excited to paint this part of the Maine coast. Show More Summary

A Few Paintings from the Week

Quoddy Head9x12 oil by Michael Chesley JohnsonSOLD I can't believe both Canada Day and Independence Day have come and gone. Where's the summer going? It's been awhile since I posted, so I thought I'd share some paintings from this past week, which marked the start of my plein air painting workshop season in Lubec, Maine. Show More Summary

How to Become a Better Painter

Field of Lupines9x12 oilMichael Chesley Johnson$200 unframed - available How to become a better painter? Practice—with a series of exclamation points following—is the obvious answer. But you can't just flail away at the canvas with a loaded brush and expect to improve. Show More Summary

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

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