2024 Manotick Art Association Plein Air Painting Program Spring is around the corner and soon it will be time to initiate the Thursday MAA Plein Air Program. I am suggesting that we begin a week earlier, on Thursday May 23 rd at Manotick's Dickinson Square in front of Watson's Mill. That way, we avoid setup work for the upcoming Dickinson Days, and its a familiar location with lawns and picnic tables that could be helpful for anyone trying plein air for the first time. An email notice is sent out to everyone on my list a week before, giving the location and directions. Everyone is responsible for their own transportation. There is no commitment to attend and no need to notify us whether you are attending or not. Each artist is expected to work independently, however, others would be happy to give assistance and make suggestions if requested. We meet on location at 9:30 am and finish up at noon where everyone is invited to present their day's work, but it is not obligatory. Lunch at at local restaurant sometimes follows.
Why should an artist try plein air? Plein air can be frustrating at first. You may find the landscape daunting for the first time. Any artist that has tried it a few times will tell you that it gets more and more interesting as you go along and that they learned so much from studying the light effects and creating a composition.. They also say that it has improved their powers of observation and painting in general.
What do you need to bring along? I remember the first time I went out painting (40 years ago). I had no idea what colours or brushes to take. Did I need a table, a chair? After my first outing, and watching the others set up, I knew what I should take next time. A sketch book and soft 6B pencil are basic. A chair if you need one, some kind of easel, a palette, paper towels, a few of your favourite colours and a canvas are a good start; Sun glasses, bug spray, a hat and a bag for garbage, drinking water and snacks are all important. I like to wear light sun proof clothing and a hat with a brim and paint in the shade to keep cool and avoid direct sun. You could include a lunch if you intend to work after 12:00 noon. That's about it
How do I register for the 2024 program, If you are not a current member of MAA, you need to join. (manotickart.ca). Then, drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. so I can put you on my mailing list. I like to hear about how you heard about us and any plein air experience you may have. You should then receive an invitation a week before each paint out. If you do not receive an invitation please contact me. Charlie Spratt
Comments. by members. . . ( Send me an email with your comments and I'll post them here.) "The MAA Plein Air program has a lot to offer. With 17 trips, to different locations each week, there's plenty of subject matter: parks, city scapes, sailboats, horse paddocks, gardens, forests, rivers and more. Personally, I don't use photos for my landscape work. Instead, I use the impressions I feel from the world around me. I paint for the challenge." Charlie Spratt