Plein Air Painting 101 with Mike Simpson

Tuesday, June 19 All Day at Top of the Pines

Plein air painting is about leaving the four walls of your studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape.

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The practice goes back for centuries but was truly made into an art form by the French Impressionists. Their desire to paint light and its changing, ephemeral qualities, coupled with the creation of transportable paint tubes and the box easel—the precursor to the plein air easels of today—allowed artists the freedom to paint “en plein air,” which is the French expression for “in the open air.”Nationally recognized plein air painter Mike Simpson will share his equipment ideas for lightweight portable on location painting kits. Learn how to select and edit a scene and how to bring it to life on your paper or canvas. Be a part of this huge national movement. Learn about local and regional events for beginners.

Mike Simpson Biography:
I paint the people, places and things of small town, rural America. From the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains, to the towering grain silos of Kansas, the small adobe casa of New Mexico, the fishing boats in a marina on the Northern Pacific coast, the cowboys of Montana, the bewhiskered bikers of Sturgis or the girls on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, they all have a story.With my painting kit of watercolor or oil paints and camera I travel the highways and byways seeking out the character of my subjects capturing the effect of light, shadow, shape and value. I get the information I need from roadside sketches or photographs and use those for more complex work back in my studio.


Classroom Locations

* It’s important to know that some classes may be held in other locations that may not be listed below. Locations will be specified accordingly in class descriptions.

Weehawken Ridgway

Primary staff office
1075 Sherman Street
Ridgway, CO 81432
(970) 318-0150

The Sherbino Theater

604 Clinton Street
Ridgway, CO 81432

Hypoxia Gym

1900 550 Uncompahgre National Forest
Ouray, CO 81432

Weehawken Montrose

310 S 9th Street
Montrose, CO 81401

Wright Opera House

472 Main Street
Ouray, CO 81427

Montrose Field House

25 Colorado Ave. 
Montrose, CO 81401