Most of us by now are home from the 9th Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo, filled to the brim with new techniques, ideas, paintings, memories, and friends. We want to sincerely thank everyone who was a part of PACE this year, including all of our amazing vendors in the expo hall, our numerous and helpful volunteers, and Davis Perkins, a painter and medic who gave his time and expertise in first aid when needed.

On Friday, we had several larger-than-life moments, including these:

1. The 2023 PACE location reveal – we’re going to Denver, Colorado! (Folks, this is already almost sold out, so don’t wait to register.) During the reveal, the audience oohed and aahed at the scenery that we’ll all be enjoying together next year.

2. An afternoon paint out at this historic El Rancho de Las Golondrinas (shown at top). Despite the sandy winds, painters found shade and solace for painting scenery and architecture throughout the location.

3. An epic party…Wrapping up the final days of PACE was bittersweet. At the Closing Party we let it all out with dancing, reflections on the week, a hilarious photo booth complete with props, and more dancing.

In Eric’s third Art Marketing Bootcamp of the week, we learned how to make money in a bad economy, how to use social media for income versus “vanity metrics,” and much more.

“Getting white mixed into your colors when you don’t want it there is the kiss of death,” said Kathy Anderson during her demo of a colorful floral. She stressed the importance of taking care of your brushes, explained her decisions as she chose which petals to include and leave out, and much more.

Kathy Anderson

Capturing the movement of water is one of the most requested demos from students, because there is water everywhere — lakes, rivers, oceans. Master artist Albert Handell shared his techniques, including how to create a transparent, quick-drying underpainting, finding the central point of interest, working from dark to light, and how to add atmosphere and distance to the landscape.

Image credit: @joycelynschedlerart​

“If you try something new, give yourself some time to get a feel for it,” said Kevin Macpherson during his “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire” oil painting demo during which he also revealed the “21 truths” of painting.

More Favorite Moments:

On the Demo stage, Kathleen Hudson painted one of her favorite subjects, showing us how she uses her underpainting method, blending transparent and opaque pigments, and emphasizing sweeping brushwork to convey the power of sunlight hitting a waterfall.

Tony Allain says that by careful selection of our reference photos combined with our location sketches, we can bring a fresh and more painterly feel to our studio work. He explained more during his pastel “Monument Valley from My Side of the Easel” demo.

With Daniel Marshall‘s session, we learned how having a structured approach to your process can lead to more looseness, energy, and abstraction in your finished paintings.

All of this in a single day! On Saturday, hundreds from our group gathered at the legendary Ghost Ranch for a full, final day of painting together.

“Saying goodbye is always sad… but we had an amazing week at the 9th annual Plein Air Convention. Hundreds of us painted today at Ghost Ranch. Hundreds are already signed up for the 10th annual birthday bash in Denver. See you next year, if not sooner!!!” [email protected]

We want to thank you once again if you were part of this year’s PACE, either in person or online, and we hope to see you next year in Denver! Sign up now at​.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here