Friday, September 17, 2010


The Maine Landscape Guild 2010
Mary Walsh, Elaine Lisle, Diana Ansley, Alexandra Tyng, Nancy Bea Miller, Eliza Auth

Cold, Rainy, and Windy this morning.....

Down to the Business of Painting

Diane Tesler one of my favorite teachers has such great sayings. I have often thought of doing a lexicon of her sayings. One of them is to keep the paint on the business end of the brush. This is sometimes hard to remember in the moment of plein-air painting. We are often working very quickly to capture a light or just beat the looming storm. Yesterday, I settled behind a house already boarded up for the season. The next time I looked up the sun was gone, it was cold, and the day had ended. I had my camera, but the battery was dead. Admittedly I was tired, but when painting I think you have to be intelligent. There is great emotion in painting as you try to capture the feeling of a place, but keep in mind where you are and where you want to go with the painting. You cannot lapse into “licking” the canvas.

To fight this off, I often reread all my notes on painting over the years to get myself centered to paint. The MLGuilders thought carrying postcards of artist’s that inspire us would be helpful when we are waffling. This might be better than notes as we are all very visual!

It is a must to have all your equipment in working order. I usually carry extra bolts and screws to repair my easel when it loses one. A list of supplies helps one to remember what they should be bringing. This is my list from a plein-air workshop I run with Alexandra Tyng.


Plein-Air Painting Supplies

Diana’s Portable plein-air necessities

Backpack to store everything

silocoil jar for solvent (Extra Solvent in case of a spill)

brushes and palette knives in a lightweight plastic jar like a thin Skippy peanut butter container/I also have a small plastic tube that I Velcro to the leg of my easel for wet paint brushes

palette (wooden preferred) paper does not work well on a windy day and glass is too heavy

if you are climbing a mountain!

Plastic or wooden cutlery box- Buy or make a box and drill holes in the bottom. Then run wire through the holes and attach it to the triangular sections of the stanrite easel. Cover the bottom of the box with paper towels to wipe your brushes as you paint. Then use one slot to hold your brushes and medium. Take out two sections for cutlery to have a place for the silocoil jar and paper towels.

paints in a large Ziploc bag or sorted by color in small Ziploc bags (best thing I have done is this so you don’t spend minutes looking for a certain color)

paper towels- brawny or those blue shop towels

tall kitchen trash bag with handles so you can tie it to your easel

stanrite backpack easel SR 100 which will be bungeed to the backpack

2 Small thin bungee cords / Metal clips to clip backpack or camera to center of stanrite easel for weight when windy

Small sketchbook, Pencils, and Erasers

Canvas or panels-toned with a wash of burnt umber or raw sienna

Small level- this is great when you are on uneven ground

View Finder



Insect repellent

Water and Snacks

Camera and extra batteries!


We are off to paint on the other side of the island the sun has broken through for the moment. We took trail #4 off to Gull Cove we turned left when we came to the cliffs and went a little ways to Gull Cove. When you look to the right you can see Gull Rock and to the left is Gull cove and Whitehead. Both of them are stunning views.

View of Gull Cove

View of Gull Rock

My easel is all set up for the day. Note the tray that is wired to the Stanrite easel.

We had four artists over tonight for drinks which was lots of fun. Three of them were from New Hampshire and Maine. One of them was a long time resident of Monhegan and Port Clyde

News Flash ...........MLGuilder Nancy Bea Miller takes the prize at Monhegan night Bingo. Yes, it is true she has done it!! She returned with the coveted lime green lunch box decorated by the Monhegan students. This was a great event to raise money for the school and thanks Nancy Bea for being there!!!

Goodnight from Monhegan

1 comment:

Unknown said...

What a great blog!!! Sounds wonderful!!!!