Summer Paint Out in Powell’s Point Park


(Click to enlarge photo)

Summer Paint Out in Powell’s Point Park 

A scheduled painting session will take place in Powell’s Pt. Park, Nova Scotia on August  23, 2012. We are a small group so far, but I know our numbers will grow as word gets around. All local artists of all levels are welcomed to this event. You can read more about this event here. All future events will be located under the “Events Tab” as well.

Happy Painting Everyone!


P.S. Here is a link discussing materials you will need for your outing.

P.P.S. On a personal note –I have been sharing posts titled ” Diary of a Plein Air Painter” on my blog. Feel free to pop over to my blog to peruse them. :D

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Impromptu Plein Air Session!

On the September 11th weekend, I called an impromptu plein air session to whomever was available in our group. It was a busy weekend for most members, but Susan Totten and I managed to escape life’s responsibilities and head to Powell’s Point Park for a plein air session! My husband Ian even came along with a good book to enjoy while Susan and I painted. With a little sweet talking , I also encouraged him to take a few photos during our painting session. :)

We were blessed with a beautiful September afternoon. Although it was a bit cooler in the shade, the sun had nice warmth.  Susan opted to finish her study she had started during our last group session. She unfortunately was sitting in the shade to complete her study where it got a little chilly. This didn’t deterr her from completing a wonderful painting in the end! We decided to take a photo of her work next to a rock on the beach, which looked really neat! I loved her finished study and am so happy Susan is enjoying her new adventures in plein air painting.

I decided to paint a little miniature painting. Sometimes I really love getting up close and personal with my subject. It is a nice break from painting a full vista and creates an intimacy with my subject I really enjoy. I think I’m going to have to fire my photographer though, as he forgot to take a photo of my finished painting before we left. ;) All was not lost, as I later recuited my son to take a nice photo for  my archives.

After we finished painting, we had a nice discussion about choosing a subject and working under a limited amount of time. We agreed that a limited time frame definitely keeps one on their toes. Susan felt it was a way to eliminate one from fiddling needlessly with their painting. Certainly, one of the advantages of plein air painting is that it demands a spontaneous and truthful response from the artist. Nothing is static in nature!

We are looking forward to future plein air sessions, although they are becoming numbered as the days get colder!

 We would love to hear your thoughts or comments! If you are a plein air painter, what do you enjoy about painting in the open air?

P.S. ( Click photos to enlarge.)

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Successful Second Outing!

Group Photo -Second Outing

On August 27th our quaint Plein Air Group met for our second outing. We met late afternoon and were blessed with a gorgeous day! Beautiful temperatures and lighting was experienced by all. I was delighted to welcome three new members to our group. Members present that day were: Lyn-Sue Wice, Carolyn Bygrave, Susan Totten, Herbie Murray and myself. Missing: Helen Boucher and Helen’s daughter Bronte. Bronte is off to art school and we all wish her the best of luck this year!

Carolyn's Plein Air Study

Some of our recent members were new to plein air painting, but I am happy to report they really enjoyed their experience and could see the value it could have on their future work. Since this was a new experience for some we had a brief  chat about keeping our subject simple, working small and to try not to chase the ever changing light.

Carolyn's Visitor!

Since it was such a beautiful day, the park was busier than usual and we caught the attention of park visitors. Carolyn was engaged in conversation by one of the park visitors and at one point I over heard someone say when they saw me painting “Oh my gosh! There’s another artist! There must be a group of them or something! They also went on to say that it was nice to see artists painting in the park. In our area it is not an everyday occurrence to see a group of artists painting outside. :D

Lyn-Sue's Plein Air Study

After we met back at our intial meeting spot we complemented each other on our accomplishments and proceeded to have great chats about our experiences. We talked about our inspirations, observations and any difficulties or puzzling problems we ran into. A discussion on “those summer greens” ensued and how tricky it is to create variations when painting them. I could totally relate to this subject as it was one of my challenges when I first started painting en plein air many years ago. Nature of course is a great teacher and many outdoor sessions later, plus direct observation helped solve this dilemma. I loved all our great conversations and the wonderful sense of comraderie that was felt in our group!

We are all looking forward to our next outing in the near future! It is looking like September will be a beautiful month to paint on location. Three Cheers to all our members for their courage and sense of adventure!

Debbie's Plein Air Painting

( You may click on any of the above photos to enlarge).

The following is a gallery of photos of our fun filled day! Enjoy!  Your comments are always welcomed! :D

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  • Carolyn\'s Visitor!
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  • Debbie\'s Plein Air Painting
  • Lyn-Sue\'s Plein Air Study
  • Carolyn\'s Plein Air Study
  • Group Photo -Second Outing
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First Outing a Success!

Group Photo

On August 10th our quaint group met for the first plein air session together. Group members who were able to attend were as follows: Lyn-Sue Wice, Helen Boucher and her daughter Bronte ( a special treat for us) and myself. Their was a variety of exposure to plein air painting in our group, some experienced and others were new to this experience. I am so happy to report that everyone had a great time and really enjoyed their painting session. Mentions of how relaxing and meditative it was prevailed in our group chatter.

Helen's Plein Air Study

The only disappointment was in the weather. Mother nature was unwilling to display a glowing sun which would add both comfort and interest to out painting sessions. Bronte and I talked about how the gray day left us yearning for interesting shadows and hits of bright sunlight on our subject. Mosquitoes love this type of day and we had to spritz and spray repellent as we painted.

Bronte's Plein Air Study

None of the above annoyances could deterr our enjoyment of painting on location and the camaraderie experienced when artists come together as a supportive group. We all oohed and awed over the studies that had been completed in approximately an hour and forty-five minutes. Everyone truly enjoyed seeing each others vantage points for all the studies.

Lyn-Sue's Plein Air Study

Much laughter and sharing occurred as we casually discussed any problems we had to solve while painting. Little accidents always occur in nature’s unpredictable studio! For example my study plopped face down on my palette as I was taking it off my easel. Luckily it was a fairly clear area, so my study was easily rescued. Lyn-Sue and Helen both commented on how nature changed before their eyes as they were painting, such as the tide moving out and colors shifts in their scenes.

Debbie's Plein Air Painting

We are all looking forward to getting together as a group again in the near future. Bronte is off to art school so we will miss her presence. Since our outing others have expressed interest in attending our next session; thus, I feel our family of artists will soon be expanding. It was such a pleasure to paint with fellow artists and I greatly appreciated their positive and supportive natures! Cheers to future outings in nature’s wide open playground!

The following is a gallery of photos of our fun filled day! Enjoy!  Your comments are always welcomed! :D

  • Bronte\'s Plein Air Study
  • Debbie\'s Plein Air Painting
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  • Helen\'s Plein Air Study
  • Lyn-Sue\'s Plein Air Study
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Upcoming Event for Nova Scotia Plein Air Painters!

Powell’s Point Park is Our First Destination

I am thrilled to say we have our first event planned! We are a small group so far, but I know our numbers will grow as word gets around. All local artists are welcomed to this event. You can read more about this event here. All future events will be located under the “Events Tab” as well.

Happy Painting Everyone!


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Are You Ready for a Plein Air Adventure?

Plein Air 6x8in. Oil on linen/panel--Debbie Lamey-MacDonald

 Are You Ready for a Plein Air Adventure?

Okay so you’re revved up and smitten with the idea of plein air painting! But what do you need to pack for your outing in order to ensure it will be enjoyable?

Here is a list of both personal items and painting gear you will need for your outing:

Personal Items:

Hat, sunscreen, fly spray, water bottle, plastic gloves (optional), garbage bags (so you leave the area as clean as you found it), First Aid Kit ( optional), proper attire for time of year.

Snacks /lunch and drinks–I always take a thermos of tea to enjoy after I finish my painting. I even take a real teacup!

Painting Items:

Easel of some sort. I used a steel frame easel for many years and it was great. This year I invested in a plein air easel, but it is not necessary.

Paints, Brushes,Mediums and palette : Whatever you work with, watercolors, acrylics, or oils.

Folding Chair or stool–even if you like to stand while painting, it is nice to have something to sit on afterwards or for breaks.

Surfaces to paint on: canvas or linen boards or paper, you might also like to take a sketch pad with pencils/pens/charcoal/eraser. You should keep your painting surfaces small if you would like to complete your study. Anywhere from 9x12in and lower is a good manageable size.

Wipes (wet ones), paper towels or rags, kleenex(optional)

Camera or Video Camera for recording your subject etc.

Last but not least!

An attitude of adventure and fun! Nature has much to offer and will bring you into a wonderful world of discovery. Flexibility in nature is a good trait to employ!

See you in the open air!



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Welcome to Nova Scotia Plein Air Painters!

I would like to take a moment to happily welcome new members, collectors and a collective audience interested in the art of plein air painting. By definition “En Plein Air” is a French saying meaning in the open air.

A seedling idea for this group began geminating a few years ago. After experiencing the joys and benefits of painting en plein air, thoughts of sharing my love for this art form began.

From an artist point of view there is no other format that will assist in improving ones skills than working from life. A greater understanding of atmospheric perspective and color are experienced naturally. Painting in nature engages ones senses adding authenticity to the work produced. Moreover, nature can be a wise teacher who awakens one’s soul giving voice to one’s individuality.

My vision for this group is to create a sense of camaraderie, stimulating a sharing of techniques, tips and marketing ideas amongst its members. I envision much fun and discoveries in our great outdoor classroom!

Through the eyes of artists, we will portray the beauty of Nova Scotia with its changing seasons. Thus, our experiences will hopefully lead to greater public awareness and an appreciation for the art of plein air painting as well as nature’s beauty.

By sharing our experiences, collectors will become aware of new artists and gain insight into our process. It is my hope that they will view this platform as a way to follow our escapades and acquire original fine art.

It is with great excitement and a sense of adventure that I hope we will begin our journey together. Whether an artist, collector or onlooker, our various perspectives will enrich this journey into plein air painting.

Let the paint flow and the fun begin!


Debbie Lamey-MacDonald

P.S. Your comments are always welcomed! :D

You can also find me on my personal website.

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