Plein Air

Most plein air easels out there are not made for those of us who like to pursue larger paintings outdoors. I’ve tried EVERYTHING and ended up very frustrated! In the end, I found that the best option for me is the Gloucester easel. I LOVE my Take It Easel. It’s website says “it’s the only easel you’ll ever need!” and I agree wholeheartedly.

I found these metal boxes that I really love. They fit in my backpack, and I throw two large rubber bands around each side with foam that I’ve inserted. I sit this right on the little shelf that is created when you put the supports out for your take it easel. I can paint any size I wish, which is HUGE for me (no pun intended ;)

If you’re on the fence, Jerry’s makes a cheap version just to test out the easel. But, I must stress the difference in quality. The Take it Easel is SO much more sturdy and well built. If you try the cheaper one, and want to take the plunge, you won’t be disappointed.

Here’s a pic of my set up. Hope this helps some other large outdoor painting lover :)

Tara

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COLOR

People often ask me about my color vision, where it came from and how and why. I LOVE COLOR. I think I’ve grown accustomed to searching for it. Even little bits that are obscure, and bringing them to the front line.

Color has the ability to evoke all kinds of emotions and memories. Working in pastels is great for this, because unlike oil painters who GASP at the idea of using PURE color out of the tube, we can just pick up any color and use it! Rich, saturated, unadulterated colors.

When I first started painting (I call pastel work painting too since I use the sides of the sticks similarly to a painter using fat and thin brushes) I thought of contrast strictly in terms of values. Then I got The Elements of Color by Johannes Itten, and it changed my visual world.

He talks of contrast in terms of color. This is a great website to explain it: http://www.worqx.com/color/itten.htm

Once you’ve moved past the box of gray and value, you can find so many interesting ways to move the eye around a painting, create interest, and evoke excitement in your viewer. Let me know what you think about this!

Tara

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