Becky Joy Fine Art

Plein Air Events, Participate or Not?

– Posted in: art tips, events, plein air
grand canyon oil painting

Last year I participated in a number of plein air events, Telluride, the Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Carmel to name a few. This year I decided not to do as many. In fact, I didn’t sign up for any. It wasn’t completely by design. I had someone ask me to teach a workshop. I booked the workshop which happened to be during one of the plein air events. Then I booked another workshop, then another…… Teaching is something I always enjoy.

I felt a little ambivalent about participating in the plein air events. On the one hand I love meeting the other artists and the complete and total immersion in plein air painting for a week without interruptions from the outside. What I didn’t like was the feeling of having to get a completed painting every time and sometimes painting a subject to sell  than what might  really interest me. I know that that is something that I shouldn’t do, but I did find myself painting what I thought I should paint.

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I also found that some of the painters were more about painting as many paintings as they could and sell them for less in a variety of sizes. I found myself painting fast and furious, another fault of mine. I knew that this wasn’t the overall direction I wanted to go with my paintings. Although, I did find that going from one event to another last year, I put in more time plein air painting and that did help me to improve as an artist. Improvement has been my overall goal in the last few years. I also had trouble getting enough studio work done for galleries and the Celebration of Fine Art.

This year I have added a gallery and will again be participating in the Celebration of Fine Art again. That means I need to paint more studio work. I still need to spend plenty of time plein air painting. In April I participated in the show, Powered by Nature, Seven Women in Carmel at Mountainsong Gallery. All of us painted around Carmel for a week before the show. It was a much more relaxing environment and more enjoyable. In fact, I felt that it was one of my best weeks plein air painting, technically and enjoyment. I definitely will do something like that again.

This summer and fall I will be doing quite a bit of traveling and painting. I decided I want to continue my plein air painting, so I have made a challenge for myself. Starting June 1 I will painting a plein air every day for 125 days. I will first be painting in Arizona for a couple of weeks. That will be challenging in itself this time of year with the heat. My paintings will most probably be early morning of at sunset. Then I will drive through CA on my way to Oregon. I’ll paint on the way ad in Oregon. I have more traveling planned later in the summer and into the fall.

Starting June 1, I will be posting on my website blog, every day a 6″x6″ plein air oil painting for sale. 125 paintings, 125 days for $125. each. My normal price on my 6×6’s is $200. I decided to sell these at the great price of $125. each which will include shipping. If you want to keep track of my paintings, sign up to receive my blog posts on my website. or Subscribe to BECKY JOY FINE ART by Email

Comments on this entry are closed.

silvia trujillo December 2, 2013, 10:19 am

I know some great spots in and around Ashland if you want some plein air company…
Safe travels!

Becky Joy December 2, 2013, 10:19 am

Silvia, I’ll think about it. Not sure what my next stop would be. I’ve been to Ashland, but not for painting.

Sue December 2, 2013, 10:21 am

Hi, I’m happy to go first :-) I came across your article in the Brush Buzz Daily Top 10 this morning and then visited your site. I love your Project 125 – brilliant idea!!
Marla Baggetta did something similar called 100 variations I’m an Australian artist. The art scene is much smaller here and I’m always interested in ideas that generate great work. Am looking forward to seeing your artworks as they are created. Cheers Sue

Becky Joy December 2, 2013, 10:22 am

Thanks Sue for commenting. I felt the project would do something on several levels. It would help me improve as an artist with that continuous plein air painting, I could generate more sales for the summer when it is slower, and I could also generate more interest in my work to help build my newsletter subscribers and workshops. It seemed like a win, win on several fronts. Good luck with your painting.

Stevie Denny December 7, 2013, 9:07 pm

Becky, your posts are always so inspirational and informative. I’ve always wondered about the plein air events, and I also like the idea of what you did in Carmel. I envy you getting out of the heat this summer. Oregon is a great destination — I used to make that drive quite often. I look forward to seeing your 125 paintings!

Becky Joy December 7, 2013, 9:08 pm

Thanks Stevie. I’m looking forward to getting out too.

susanne December 7, 2013, 10:02 pm

make sure you get to Bandon in Oregon…

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