How the Desert Helped Carlton Paint Snow

Minnesota artist Philip Alexander Carlton was not impressed with painting winter in the Midwest until he realized he could apply lessons learned on his lengthy road trip.

Why This Works: A Tale of Two Paintings

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, two pieces from one day by Richard Maud.

Unsticking the Stuck Student

Artist and art industry veteran Terry Stanley has some advice for art instructors who encounter students with a block stopping their progress.

Why This Works: Supporting the Star Player

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Kurt Jacobson’s “DeLong Lake, Alaska.”

Putting Design Over Subject

North Carolina painter Jean Cauthen says she seeks out “the places between or in back of places,” by which she means finding a strong design rather than painting a portrait.

What It Takes to Paint Snow in Northern Ontario

Christy A. Smith loves winter, and it’s a good thing, because she lives in Sudbury, Ontario in Canada, where the average low temperature in January is below zero. She especially likes painting snow, and some of her snow paintings are now on view in a special exhibition.

Why This Works: Muted Foreground Sends Viewer to Mid-Ground

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Kayti Didriksen’s “Fall Evidence, Catskills.”

People . . . Who Paint People

Kathryn A. McMahon is not one of those plein air painters who are bothered by passersby. She puts them into her paintings, and chats with them. How?

Why This Works: Masterful Use of Color

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Jude Tolar’s “Provencal Golden Hour.”

Seeing the Unconventional, on Location

It took an unconventional painting done from a photograph taken at an extreme vantage point to set David Boyd, Jr. on his current path as a plein air pain

How to Avoid Greens in Summer

Actually, Lynn M. Rix tried to avoid greens by painting from a boat ... and she ended up painting a lot of green. How so?

The Llama Syndicate

Most artists have their unique ways for going about their business. Colorado artist Michael Charron has a few notable ones involving llamas, a syndication system for selling paintings, and underdrawings with spiritual symbols and cursive writing.

Avoiding Lyme Disease, a Plein Air Painter’s Nemesis

“Many people who have had Lyme disease are terrified of going outdoors again.” That’s Deborah Lazar, a Vermont artist and a victim of Lyme disease, explaining why you and all of your plein air painting friends want to avoid this affliction. How? Lazar has some tips.

How Do the Pros Ship Paintings?

There comes a time in an artist’s career when she or he needs to ship more than a handful of paintings across the country for an exhibition. What is the best way to do this?

Anatomy of an Award Winner: Jason Sacran and an EnPleinAirTEXAS Time Crunch

For Jason Sacran, there’s nothing like a deadline … and some serendipity.

Why This Works: Complements Add Punch to Muted Colors

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, R. Gregory Summers’ “God of Light.”

Why This Works: X Marks the Resting Spot

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Jean-Pierre Jacquet’s “Benched.”

Why This Works: Large Bold Shapes Suggest Abstraction

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, she discusses Don Bishop’s “September Flower Farm.”

12 Ways Artists Can Reduce Frustration While Painting

The art of painting is a head game. It requires a distraction-free environment that allows you to get into the painting zone and lets things go smoothly.

Why This Works: Foreground Chamisa Strengthens Focal Point

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, she discusses Joe Anna Arnett’s “Trestle.”

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