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The paint out in St James’s 2018 was organised by Mo Teeuw IEA. I had not met Mo before or even done a group plein air paint out before (unless you count the Munnings Museum competition which was plein air). So I did not know what to expect. It turned out to be a very informal friendly day, everybody meeting at the cafe on the park then wandering off to paint whatever took their eye. Some knew each other while others were like me on their first paint out.

I had to invest in some kit before I went on this paint out as I could not see how I could carry my easel and wet painting on train and tube (I have to travel from Newmarket, Suffolk area). So I bought a Mabef Pochade box (which takes 16ins x 10ins boards) I will do a review of this bit of kit in another post. The box meant everything could go inside it and the only other item I needed was a tripod for it to sit on, oh and I found I needed a tin with lid for the white spirit for cleaning brushes, this went in a carrier bag with my sandwiches :). I had done an experimental plein air by myself in Hawkedon village using the Mabef box so I could iron out any potential problems. The result was okay but I needed to sort out the stability of the box on the tripod better (its a heavy box) see my painting of Suffolk Barns at Hawkedon first painting using the Mabef.

Back to the plein air at St James’s Park. It was a bright sunny day and I was inspired by the light and colour of Horse Guards Parade. so my choice of subject was easy. I was able to work out the direction of the sun so could factor in its movement during the day (thanks Google maps). I was painting the back of Horse Guards so it is westerly facing. I was pleased with the painted result as it caught some of the brilliance of the light, I particularly enjoyed adding specks of colour representing the people walking along the parade ground. I was greatly pleased when a Japanese tourist stopped to ask if he could buy my painting, his English was very bad and I had not prepared for this eventuality other than making sure I had my website url on the outside of my Mabef box. I was not able to deal with the enquiry at all – how do you sell a wet oil painting? This is going to be one of my learning to do’s for the day.

Unfortunately I had to pack up at 3pm so I had to leave before everybody gathered at the top of the Cafe in the park for a coffee, chat and share of work. Maybe next time.
Thank you Mo for organising a truly great day out.

Suffolk Barns at Hawkedon | oils | 24cm x 30cm (10ins x 12ins)

Learning Tips for Artists

  • How to sell wet oil painting from the easel
  • Essential promotional items for plein air artists
  • Plein Air kit what to select
  • Best app for checking out a location prior to going

Horse Guards Parade, sunny October | oils | 24cm x 30cm (10ins x 12ins)