Have you been bitten by the plein air bug? Are you itching to go outside and paint? Not sure what equipment and supplies you need to get the job done? Well, you’re in luck. Here’s a list to get you started:
We had a great turnout for our Gilbert Riparian Preserve paint out this morning! I, somehow, aimlessly wandered down to the back forty and ended up painting alone. Not quite alone. There were a few egrets, a pelican, an owl and a bunch of ducks. Seems the rest of the APAP group painted up front near the ramada and got some great paintings. Luckily, Matt Sterbenz got a few pictures. (That's Matt painting in the banner image at the top of this post.)
What I got, besides my commune with nature, a half-finished painting, and a sudden hankering to become a bird watcher, was wet! It was a long walk from the back forty to the car in the rain. Still, what's plein air painting without some weather? Can't wait to do it again!
Rev up your brushes, Painters! Our 2018 members-only juried show will soon be here!
MAY 5, 2018 - MAY 18, 2018
Location: Scottsdale Artists School, 3720 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Subject: Original representational plein air paintings done in Arizona depicting the diverse Arizona landscape, cityscape, flora, fauna, or architecture.
Deadline: April 24, 2018 (no exceptions)
Have you ever wanted to go to an APAP paint out, only to find you have to work, babysit, sleep, go to the doctor, or whatever on the days the regular Arizona Plein Air Painters (APAP) paint outs are scheduled? Are the paint outs just too far away? Do you wish they were in the afternoon, instead of the morning or vice versa? Are you dying to paint this perfect, little spot, but don't want to go out alone and that little spot never ends up on our calendar? Guess what? There's a fix for that.
As we head into the holiday season and a bright new year, I want to introduce myself, to those who don't know me, and fill you in on my vision for the future of Arizona Plein Air Painters and the plan to help us get there.
I was born in Arizona and grew up with the desert crunching beneath my feet. I made friends with caress-able little horny toads. I built forts, and even a "nature church," (sans candles), under the indigenous mesquite trees back in the desert behind my parents yard in Kearny. In the wild, mesquite tree branches touch the ground making lacy, shaded caves for javelina and little children. My best friend, Mary Ann, and I often sat in our tree church feeling the love of God or the Universe beaming through the holes in the branches, dappling our bodies with warmth and light. God was happy and so were we.
I tell you this, because as often as I dream of moving to Vermont in the summer, Arizona is sacred to me. It is home. From the canyon lands in the north to the Sonoita Valley in the south, (an area Legends of the Fall writer Jim Harrison called "preposterously beautiful”), lies an extremely diverse and wondrous land. A land supporting many cultures and an unimaginable abundance of wildlife and beauty. Arizona is not just all about the iconic Sedona, the giant Saguaro, and the sublime canyons. While these are iconic for a reason, and yearn to be painted endlessly, it’s important we don’t ignore the rest of what Arizona has to offer its people and visitors. Especially, it’s artists.
In order to see all we can see and allow Arizona to be all it can be, in our eyes and on our canvases, we need to experience it and truly see it. All of it. With this in mind, I’ve created a simple system for choosing plein air sites. For now, as the majority of our members are currently in the Phoenix Metro Area, there are two categories, the Valley and the State. I’ve divided each into four quarters.
Valley Paint Outs
The dividing lines in the valley are I-17 and I-10. Each quarter radiates out to the bounds of civilization and a bit beyond. Paint outs will be scheduled in alternating quarters in order to diversify the plein air experience in the valley and surrounding areas and give members a chance to have paint outs in their vicinity. I encourage everyone, who is able, to take advantage of all the different paint out events, wherever they are, not just those in their area.
After the holidays, these local events will be held regularly on Saturday, usually in the morning. I would appreciate volunteers to act as hosts for scheduled paint outs on the occasions I may not be able to attend. One in each quarter would be nice. If you're interested, drop me a line here.
In the summer, we’ll decrease the frequency of valley paint outs to once or twice a month and, on occasion, we’ll head north, depending on how the wind blows. Plein air painters must be flexible.
Statewide Paint Outs
Statewide paint outs will work the same way as the Valley paint outs, but with, at least, one multi-day paint out per quarter in alternating quarters of the state. Weather will be the major determinant on where we go and when and will include fall leafing and winter snow paint outs thrown in for good measure.
You are responsible for your own travel, food, and lodging for these events. Cookouts, unless otherwise noted, will be bring your own food or potluck type affairs. I’m already salivating at the thought of cooking and eating and socializing en plein air.
The Year Ahead
Holding these paint out events is one of our major goals for 2018. The others are:
- Creating a Nonprofit Corporation - This is in the works and should be finalized in January.
- Obtaining tax-exempt status as a 501.C.3 - This will be done once we have incorporated and as soon as the funds are available through dues.
- Holding our annual members only juried show.
- Maintaining our website.
- Having fun, making good friends and great paintings.
Here’s hoping your holidays are merry and you brushes are always wet.
See you in the pictures!
I'm very happy to be assuming the reins of The Arizona Plein Air Painters group from Matt Sterbenz. He has worked hard for us and his dedication to the group and his craft have been amazing. He's ready to retire his stewardship of APAP, however, but will be helping us in many other ways. As I hope all of you will.
APAP is undergoing some exciting changes. Not everything will change. Our primary focus has been and will be to practice and promote the tradition of painting outdoors. With that in mind, however, look for some new and exciting events coming in 2018.
- Plein Air Contests
- Camping Paint Outs
- Community Outreach
- Urban Paint Outs
- and more . . . (In addition to our regular, member-organized paint outs, of course.)
We'll be looking at ways to cover the group's expenses. We may need to reinstate the dues system or ask for donations. This is still up in the air. It will be decided by the first of the year.
I'd love to hear your ideas, as well, about how we can make this group more relevant to ourselves, our artistic journeys, (as a group and individually), and to our beautiful state, Arizona. We are its best ambassadors. Being an Arizona native, I'm very proud of my state and look forward to the chance to show it off.
My name is Kimber Scott. People who know me, call me Kim. I've been a painter since I was about eight years old. I received my BFA in Painting from Arizona State University in 2006. Believe me, there were quite a few years and several lifetimes between being eight and graduating in 2006. My work has focused mainly on portraits/figurative, still life, and murals. I am still a newby, however, when it comes to plein air. I'm finally at a place in my life where I can devote more time to my work and plein air is going to be a very big part of it. I'm looking forward to sharing this adventure with all of you as we put in the brush miles and make beautiful work, together.
Please, introduce yourselves in the comments below. Maybe, include a little bio and your website address, if you have one. You can also post ideas, questions, and suggestions below. I can't wait to meet you here and out in the real world!