Saturday, October 20, 2007

Plein Air Painting in the San Juans

The highlight of my year so far was the NPS Lopez Island Paint-Out I attended in August. I haven't been much of an outdoor painter in the past, but this turned me into a die hard groupie! Visit to see a couple of mine (Lopez Dawn shown here) and

What a blast we had. It was a total adventure, from the search for the perfect location to trying to keep the painting out of the sun so our colors would read correctly. And then there was the "after hours" networking (eating fine food and drinking wine) and visiting (much laughter) to art talk (more wine) and late night giggles (caused by the wine).

There were about 35 Northwest Pastel Society members who gathered on the beautiful, "wave-to-everyone going only 25mph" Lopez Island to bond and smear pastels around on a sheet of paper in the hopes a masterpiece would emerge. I have to tell you, many masterpieces emerged to the surprise of their authors. To view some of these masterpieces visit

I found myself bonding with not only old friends and new, but with the island itself. When you are "in" the environment, you "see" it better, you "feel" the colors, and can't wait to get up the next morning to create another "masterpiece."

If you've never tried Plein Air painting, don't wait another day, load up your materials and hit the road. It is amazing out there!