Art, oil painting, Painting, Sketching

Champoeg State Park plein air

I spent a lovely day with my buddy painting in the park. I’m still quite unsteady on my feet with plein air but I don’t think this attempt really sucks … and it was fun.

Campoeg State Park plein air

8″ x 10″ oil on gessoed paper

This took about an hour and that’s about the limit of my attention span. I was disappointed with the amount of stuff I had to lug out there. I had a full backpack, a bag with the tripod, the pochade box and a can of solvent. It was manageable but not really comfortable. There must be a better way to deal with the solvent. A wet panel carrier would have put me over the limit. I think I can do better at organizing things and I’ll have to think about what I can do without.

Overall it was a day well spent.

12 thoughts on “Champoeg State Park plein air”

  1. Very nice and well worth the trip.

    How much solvent did you use? Take a little more than that next time and pour the remainder into a glass jar at home. Maybe you can locate a smaller tin to use. You could consider taking an absolute minimum in paints, brushes, etc., then adding supplies only when you feel there is a must-have item missing. You could always buy a pack mule, but then you’d have to house and feed it. *lol* Good luck in finding what’s right for you so it’s more enjoyable.


  2. Thanks, Casey.

    Jenny, I bought a stainless steel brush washer that hangs from my pochade box. It’s a lot bigger than I’d like and, to fill above the level of the strainer, I have to put in quite a bit of solvent. I’m not sure how folks usually handle the solvent issue. If I carry the solvent in the original can and fill my washer on site, I won’t want to pour the dirty solvent back into the original container when I’m done, at least until it has time to settle out. So rather than carry both the washer and original container, I chose to fill the washer and carry that. Even though it has a fluid tight lid, I wasn’t comfortable putting it in the backpack filled with solvent so I had to carry it separately. I wonder how others handle this.

    There are certainly things I can do with out and a slightly larger backpack might fit the pochade as well eliminating that as a separate item.

    In these parts, some folks use pack llamas. That would be fun but I don’t think it’d fit in my Camry. ; )


  3. I broke out into a sweat just reading this. Maybe plein air is what separates real artists from the weenies. Nice painting and plenty of exercise to boot.


  4. Bill, really nice blog, and terrific work. What kind of paper do you gesso? Did I miss that somewhere?


  5. This is a beautiful painting Bill. I love the soft, muted palette and the nice depth you’ve achieved into the darkness beyond. You can feel great about this painting!


  6. Wonderful plein air painting! Good for you. I’m stil sketching but I have my box ready.

    Someone recommended baby oil to clean brushes and hands. And I know people who do direct painting wiht no terps.
    Have to think about this one as I like to block in with washes.
    Can’t wait to see mroe.


  7. Have you tried something like “Holbein 1052-15M Brush Washer”? I have a similar one and it’s fairly leakproof.
    I don’t usually change the solvent and only cleaned out the gunk when I moved cross country. I would let it settle once home and then pour it off into a jar that has an airtight seal. That way you aren’t contaminating what’s in the can.


  8. mongoose1 – Thanks for the tip. I think I’ve solved my logistical problems as best I can for now. I just need to paint more.


  9. I’m so glad you commented on my blog so that I found yours! I really love your work. How do you like painting on the relatively smooth finish of paper compared to canvas? A smooth surface for oils seems more difficult to me for alla prima painting. Check out the Guerilla Painters Mighty-Mite jar for solvents. It’s guaranteed leakproof, small and has a stainless brush washer thingee inside.


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