If you haven't shared your web site I want yours- NOW. What can be so bad about having 3967 folks (give or take) have a look at what you produce?

Web Sites

I met Andrea J Smith at her studio during my Rome painting workshop - the one with Rick Brosen. Check out her work here.

Check out the exciting urban scenes of NY artist Alex Zwarenstein. I have him teaching a NYC outdoor painting workshop in July.

NYC watercolor painter Nancy Rosen shares her unique and ethereal vision for the figure and abstraction.

Oregon artist Margaret Prentice currently has a show at White Lotus Gallery in Eugene titled 'Wetlands'. Click on the Wetland link on her site.

The paintings of West Coast artist Mary Aslin are based on working from life and the fundamentals of classical art.

Ben Winspear's paintings show his love for the Australian landscape, and also his commitment to painting the figure.

Kazuya (Kaz) Morimoto can be found with his display of colorful NYC watercolors on the streets of Greenwich Village most days. He's set up right down the block from me as we speak - on Bank Street and West 4th.

Look at the strong color and unusual compositions of Michigan artist Ellie Harold.... And those birds!

Art News - and my next exciting adventure for you:

This is too amazing for words. Thanks to Zehav for sending me this BBC story about the horse who saved it's own life by painting! And sold 82 of his paintings so far.


Here's my shpiel on plein air painting, using photographs, painting from life and more. First my philosophy on using photographs (which we all know is frowned on by some in the art world). To make your paintings with figures in them truly convincing it takes probably thousands of hours painting from life. That will get you ready to paint figures from photographs. OK.. maybe not thousands of hours but lots and lots.. You can generally tell when someone who has figures in their paintings did not put the time in painting the figure from life. The figures lack some vitality and elegant balance of warm and cool colors, and can look like painted photographs! OK.. Plein air painters who put figures in their paintings can get away with not painting all those hours from life because on these small canvases the figures are hardly more than small dabs of paint.. Right here I want to stop and thank Kim English who teaches how to do fast figure studies with paint. That had a huge impact on me. When I was still painting on my organized workshops I found great pleasure in painting the painters who were painting! Great models they were.

There are things you just can't do without using photographs. Like painting large canvases with multiple figures (unless you're Joaquin Sorolla). Some famous painters used photographs starting probably with Vermeer and his camera obscura. But even after him there's a bunch of literature on this. Check out this guy's website to see examples from Van Gogh, Cezanne, Degas, Picasso and Lautrec. Probably Thomas Eakins as well.

I'm including two examples of paintings I've done. One was done 100% from life (painted on a beach in Brittany) and the other done 100% from a photo I took in France from a window overlooking the school. The beach gals painting is 16x20 and the kids are 24 x 30. I flattened out the background in the kids painting and if I were to do this today I would include more texture there.

Now - onto plein air painting. It goes without saying that plein air painting has become HUGE. There are groups all over the US - practically every state has at least one and maybe more. There are paintouts, competitions, workshops, etc. So my question is this: how did the 8 x 10 canvas become the go to size? Here are some photos of painters on location. The first is Pisarro the next one is Sorolla and the one next to that is a painting by Monet of Blanche Hoschede Monet at her easel outside.. You can see more or less the sizes of the canvases. So why not paint larger on location? Painting larger will push you beyond your comfort zone and help develop a higher level of skill. WIth more area to cover on a larger canvas making a successful painting or sketch becomes a greater challenge. Painting larger gets your arm moving and you involved more physically in the canvas. The idea that you need to paint small while traveling to make it easy to bring canvases home doesn't hold water. There are ways to paint larger and still bring home what you do safely. So here's my idea: I've started a website called www.16x20andUP. Anyone doing any outdoor painting 16 x 20 or larger can send me an image, title and your name and I will post them on that site. I'm giving this a one month trial to see what the response is.

What do I have coming up in the way of traveling painting workshops? Well, I do have a uninstructed painting excursion to one of my favorite places in all the world: Paris. Great hotel, fantastic neighborhood. What's not to like? And I'll be there to take care of everyone. Because that's what I do. We'll spend a day in Giverny visiting Monet's Gardens and the Impressionist Museum. We might just be lucky and catch the guy in this video painting in the Gardens.


Olivier Jennes sent me this article on "which easel style is best for you'.. Have a look. This looks mostly at studio easels but there are some reviews of field easels. At the same time you might want to see the list I put together of portable - or plein air easels.

No matter what you think (or thought) of the Bob Ross Joy of Painting TV series you might want to take a trip down memory lane.

Artists Quotes

"I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum." Claes Oldenburg

"I tell you, the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people." Van Gogh

"Before I start painting I have a slightly ambiguous feeling: happiness is a special excitement because unhappiness is always possible a moment later." Francis Bacon

"I paint things as they are. I don't comment. I record." Henri de Toulouse Lautrec

"I have no ideas about what the paintings imply about the world. I don't think that’s a painter's business. He just paints paintings without a conscious reason. I intuitively paint flags." Jasper Johns

" I am fifty years old and I have always lived in freedom; let me end my life free; when I am dead let this be said of me: 'He belonged to no school, to no church, to no institution, to no academy, least of all to any régime except the régime of liberty." Gustave Courbet

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e-mail: philip@1worldarttravel.com