Tag Archives: Plein air tips

Another Sweet Chance to Win an Art Cocoon

Pleir air artists, get ready to win these useful wet panel carriers! They protect your painting and everything around it. Our 2017 Summer Plein Air Contest will run from June 15th to July 15th.  You can enter up to three paintings for a chance to win one. Winners are determined by popular vote.  I painted this strawberry field last week during  our annual visit to Whittaker’s Berry Farm in Ida, Michigan.  Even with my two year old twins along, I had was able to finish a quick study and we picked ten pounds of berries.  My oldest daughter and her friend were very helpful, and so was my Art Cocoon.  I taped in my canvas panel when I loaded up my kit in the car.  I used a table top easel and sat on the straw right next to the berries.  They smelled lovely and the weather was absolute perfection.  The kids had fun picking (and eating) strawberries and fell fast asleep on ride home.
I didn’t unpack my kit when we arrived home, because I was wiped out after unloading the littles and the berries.  Around two am, I woke up and started worrying that I might have loaded the art cocoon in the car with the painting facing down.  I ran out to check and sure enough I had. However, my masking tape held up so my painting was still intact. I put the lid back on, banded it securely in place and set it painting side down in my studio. Then I went right back to sleep.

 

4 Things to Expect When Painting Outdoors: Tips from Jeremy Sams

Hey Jeremy — why do you paint IN the water?

“When the hot summer sun is blazing down on your shoulders and you’re surrounded by all kinds of rash-inducing foliage, painting IN the water just makes good sense!”

—Jeremy Sams, Landscape painter,
Archdale, NC, 9/28/15

Click here to read more about Jeremy…

1. Expect to be overwhelmed.
One of the biggest struggles is narrowing down my focus to one simple subject. Our tendency is to paint everything we see…the barn, the cow, the fence, the no trespassing sign, the weird tree with the broken limbs, and the cloud that looks like Donald Trump’s bad hair day. I’ve found that by using a view catcher you can isolate a particular view of a scene, and it makes it easier to see a dynamic cropping. Plus, it helps when you’re sketching out your composition.2. Expect to be uncomfortable.
I always advise people to bring bug spray, sunscreen, a light jacket, and an umbrella. There’s nothing more irritating than being unprepared for pestilence and weather when in a perfect scene. Because when you begin to paint you’ll have to swat the mosquitoes as they feed on you…and then, it will begin to rain…the rain will make you cold…you’ll struggle to paint with shivering hands…the sun will come out…you’ll warm up…you’ll get sunburned…and the mosquitoes will continue their lunch. It is a vicious cycle.

3. Expect the light to change.
You may have no more than a couple of hours to capture a particular scene. Large structure shadows will be slower moving while dappled light streaming through the leaves can create fast moving ground shadows. Overcome this painting challenge by finding the shadow patterns and light spots that best serve the painting—and then stick to the plan. Otherwise, you’ll spend all your time adjusting minor matters while the whole concept remains incomplete.

4. Expect panhandlers, con-artists,  spectators.
I usually park as near to my location as possible. If I’m only painting, I’ll leave my valuables locked up in my vehicle. It’s common to have pan-handlers approach. Here’s how I handle them: If they ask for money, I kindly ask them their name, first. Then, I say, “Sir/Maam, I’m sorry, I don’t have any money on me to hand out, but what do you need?” You can detect a con-artist from a person in actual need by asking specific questions. If they say, “I need food”, I’ll tell them to come back when I’m finished and I’ll go buy you some food (assuming I have the funds available). Those who have legitimate needs will be patient and accept whatever I purchase for them when I’m done. This approach may not be for everyone, so let your conscience be your guide. Just remember, don’t leave your painting gear unattended, and it’s good to have a painting buddy with you!

About spectators, I personally see their presence as a good thing, because they may be buyers, so have business cards to hand them. Also, it never fails that when you have established your shapes and composition, your spectators arrive. They usually give you that confused look as they glance at the subject matter, and then to your painting, and ask, “So, are you one of them thar’ abstract painters?” I use this opportunity to explain the benefits of my plein air process. Kindness goes a long way and just being friendly may get you a sale.


If you’re looking for an efficient, economical, and compact solution for carrying wet paintings, you’ll LOVE Art Cocoon Wet Panel Carriers – they go where you go!Enter our contest for a chance to WIN a FREE CASE of Art Cocoon carriers and become a FEATURED ARTIST!

Your images could appear in our e-commerce and print advertising materials, providing new exposure and opportunities!

Featured Artist, Jeremy Sams, painting in the water with Art Cocoons!


 

 

 

Jeremy Sams
“I used to not worry too much about carrying around wet paintings. I’d snicker a little at all the oil painters trying to be so careful not to end up wearing their buttery colors from their fresh plein air paintings. As for me, I’d just toss mine in the back of the car, and if it landed on its face, it was ok. I’m an acrylic painter. I could get away with that…well, could get away with that…not so much anymore. With experience, and lots of wasted dried up paint, I found the slow drying acrylics to be much friendlier to my plein air adventures. With this friendly new medium, however, I had to think twice before tossing my painting around. So, I found myself researching wet panel carriers.”There’s a whole market of different styles of wet panel carriers out there. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to test out one of these. It’s called the “Art Cocoon”, a panel carrier designed to cocoon around your wet painting. It was designed by an artist for an artist and is made of a high quality, very stiff and durable cardboard. Your standard sized panel fits into the cocoon and is held in place by a few small strips of tape on the back of the panel. Then, the lid (another cardboard panel with matching space for your panel size) sandwiches your fixed panel. A large rubber band goes around the whole set-up, keeping it sealed. Now, your painting is cocooned.
I wanted to test just how tough this little thing was, so I strapped it to my kayak and headed up the New River in Ashe Co., NC. Luckily, my cocoon came with a sealable bag…which was good for the wet kayak trip, and just my luck…rain! I was pleased when I took the cocoon out and the only thing wet was the outside of the bag! Also, the tie down straps on the kayak didn’t affect its solid exterior, which was pleasing.

“One other thing I noticed and was pleased with, was that even though I had the cocoon in wet weather (although under an umbrella, and sealed when traveling) I didn’t notice any type of adverse effects on the cardboard material. However, I might not have had the same experience had I dropped the panel in the river. But I don’t know…maybe I’ll try that next time and see how well it floats…but only if it’s a bad painting.”

—Jeremy Sams, Landscape painter, Archdale, NC, 9/8/15

Click here to read more about Jeremy…

A Note from the Talented Tina Bohlman

TINA AT BIG BEND RIO GRANDE 2014We were thrilled to receive an email from Tina Bohlman!

“I don’t remember the exact year, but about 3-4 years ago, I received 3 each of the small and large as an Honorable Mention award in the Paint Historic Waxahachie plein air event. It’s a really great product. Every time I participate in an event or just a paint out gathering, artists always ask & I show them how “cool” the carriers are & give them the website. I give frequent painting demonstrations and always have my plein air gear, which includes MyArtCocoon! I have no idea how many of these I’ve “sold” for you, but I’m guessing quite a few.

Attached are some photos of my paintings on location inside the cocoon, plus a couple with me in the photo…the one showing me sketching has a fresh sheet of Arches Oil Paper in the cocoon on my easel. I paint on the new Arches Oil Paper and it’s a perfect match for the cocoon; I trim the paper to fit inside the 11×14 then place the 9×12 or 8×10 insert on that if I want to paint smaller. Same goes for carved out 12×16 – trim paper to fit & put inserts over if I want to paint smaller.”RIO GRANDEIMG_2321TINA - SKETCHING AT BIG BEND (contraband movie set)

Tina is a signature member of the following groups:
Outdoor Painters Society
Women Artists Of The West
Contemporary Fine Art International
Artists Of Texas
International Plein Air Painters

Check out her wonderful plein air work:
www.tinabohlman.com
www.tinabohlman.blogspot.com