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Friday, August 30, 2013

Wild Mountain Painting

"Looking Out" - oil on linen - 6x8" (sold)

Just back from our 4th annual Heli-Painting adventure in the Bugaboo Mountains of BC.

Each year Robert Genn and I, along with his amazing daughter Sara, co-lead a plein air workshop in one of the most visually spectacular places on earth. This year we had 15 students ambitious enough to brave the elements and get to work in an environment that calls forth tenacity, determination, and a willingness to stretch in service of artistic growth.

Bob doing a demo with Bugaboo Spire in the background.

The more I paint plein air, the more I realize that the gift is not in striving to take home a painting that matches what you saw, but rather to be present for the experience of connecting with what you're seeing, and expressing what is true for you about it in the moment.

When you add in sharing the company of like-minded souls immersed in the creative process together in a sacred place - it is as high quality a life experience as one can have.

Thanks to the gang of 2013 - it was a great pleasure to paint with you in this wild mountain sanctuary!

Hunkered down with Robert in a cozy shelter.

"Looking Out" - detail

I love playing with the combination of transparent darks and thick opaque lights to create interest on the painting surface. I find oil-primed linen allows me to get the most from this approach due to it's non-absorbency and organic, irregular weave.

Raymar Art offers an incredibly light 1/16" thin panel which is ideal for plein air work. Here's a link to the panels I use.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post with a link to a photo essay of this year's heli-painting adventure.


  1. Always good to read about this annual event and to remember when you took me there! Precious. xox

  2. Sweet little piece, reminds me how much I want to join you there!! hopefully next season.

  3. i am so envious, but pleased to know you all had an amazing experience.
    I agree totally with how beautifully you put it,
    "to be present to the experience of connecting with what you are seeing..."

    1. Glad that resonated Julie. I think sometimes we can miss the whole experience by getting tangled up in whether or not the paintin is 'working'.

  4. Wow! You are intrepid. The colors in your painting are so rich. I love the warmth in this cold scene.