Artist Joe Paquet not only presented the opening address at the convention, which challenged us as artists to find our own voice in the art world, but he stopped to offer advice to me (and others) while we were out painting on Sunday along the wharf. Just another reason I love this convention experience!

Me and my friend Cynthia Morris during one of the breaks at the main stage.

People often ask me the reasons I do things as an artist. This convention, because it is new and ground breaking in the world of plein air painting, is one of the things that people are curious about. Critics say “how can it be plein air if you are inside watching people paint all the time?” Well, for one thing, we are not inside all the time. We spent two days outside painting and you could either set up and paint alongside your favorite artists or you could wander around (like I do) and watch and photograph and more importantly, learn from these professionals. They are all more than willing to answer questions or help out if you need help, and I experienced that multiple times during my two conventions. The egos (if there are any) are checked at the door and there is no way to really tell (unless you know) who is an artist who gets thousands for their paintings or an artist who is just starting out. You can literally stand in the hallway and chat about art and painting with the artists on the faculty as well as those convention attendees from all over the world. It is the common thread of passion that holds this group together and makes it the fabulous experience it is for everyone.

Another aspect that some people miss about plein air painting is that the demos inside help the convention attendees to “get inside the head” of the artist as they share their processes and painting habits with the crowd. Many plein air artists use their paintings done on location as “notes” or “sketches” to use in the studio for a larger painting as reference, much like a student uses notes in class to write a paper later. This indoor time is an invaluable part of the convention and combined with the outdoor time, makes this an excellent learning and sharing environment for everyone there.

Now for more photos! I LOVE seeing old friends and past workshop instructors at this event. Below are just some of the artists that I made sure to chat with while there.

It is always fun to see some of my previous workshop instructors at the convention, especially those like Scott who have made such a big impact on my painting journey thus far!

I love talking with Camille Przewodek at this event. She always has words of wisdom for me and I enjoy her positive attitude and advice toward my growth as an artist.

Paul Kratter is one of the artists I contacted early on in my quest to paint again as an adult. He has been an inspiration for years now for me and it is a highlight of my trip to see him at this event!

The days painting outside were just spectacular at this convention! The weather was perfect both days and everyone was excited to get out and paint! Below are some of my photos that I took that will tell you more about how 750 people can paint together on location and what a thrill it is to experience this as an aritst!

I really enjoyed watching artist and friend, Gene Costanza, paint along the beach on Saturday. He is one of my favorite artists and to be able to watch him paint was one of the highlights of my trip!

John Crump masterfully painting the water at the wharf paint out. I love watching this guy paint!

Artist John Cosby painting along the wharf the last paint out day. He also explained what he was doing and answered questions as he painted.

One of my favorite artists at the convention, Paul Kratter. I have followed Paul’s work for years and he has been one of those people who inspires me in so many ways. Plus, he is just a nice guy all around too!

Ned Mueller stopped to help a convention attendee put people in her landscape. Again, the impromptu teaching that went on here is one of the coolest things you will ever see and experience.

Kathleen Dunphy painted on the beach and spent the entire time instructing those who stopped to watch by explaining her process and what she was thinking as she was painting. This is one of the things I love about this convention – not only do you get the “planned” instruction on stage and in the demos, but the impromptu instruction by the faculty and other artists there is invaluable and priceless.

Scott Christensen painted along the road next to the beach in his “back of the car setup” as I like to call it. It was really cool to watch this painting develop during the afternoon on the beach.

Artists everywhere you look along the beach painting!

Lori Putnam and two other convention artists paint alongside each other at the beach.

Bryan Mark Taylor beginning his first painting of the day along the path on the first paint out day.

Ken Auster painting along the path at the beach.

Shelby Keefe painting along the wharf.

And, just so you don’t think I spent ALL my time talking and taking photos at the convention, I am including a couple of my plein air sketches done in sunny California! I learned a lot by painting in their beautiful light and as many of you know, I love the struggle of painting water and learn more about it each time I do it!

Marina painting of mine painted the last day of the convention when the group painted together there.

Detail shot of one of my wharf area paintings completed the day the group painted there together.

One of my plein air paintings that I did at the wharf the day we were all out painting together there.

And last, but not least, a few photos of the gorgeous scenery we experienced along the way during the convention. If you have not visited this area, put it on your list of to-dos for the future! You won’t be sorry!

I hope you have enjoyed my review of the Second Annual Plein Air Convention! I would be happy to answer any questions you have about this event if you are considering attending in the future. At this time of this blog post, next year’s details have not been announced but should be soon!




Pictured here with (left to right) Becky Joy, Eric Rhodes, Me, Dawn Whitelaw on the last day of the event. Everyone was all smiles after the fun and inspirational week!

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the First Plein Air Convention in Las Vegas in April. To summarize, it was an experience to remember for a plein air artist! To be at an event that focuses on something that is so important to my art world was just fabulous! I met so many other artists that I admired and saw demos and heard lectures that inspired me to strive for things I never thought possible in my art career. Rather than write a long, detailed recap, I have decided to share some of my favorite photos from the trip. Also, if you would like to watch, I created a slideshow video that is about 10 minutes long that shows my whole week summarized in photos set to zippy music! The link to that is Plein Air Convention Video Recap by Denise Rose. Clyde Aspevig lecture- truly a highlight of the entire convention. His lecture was one of the most inspirational moments of the entire event and a treat to everyone there. Eric Rhoads, Chairman and CEO of Streamline Publishing (left) and Steve Doherty, Editor of Plein Air Magazine - Both organizers of this event Ken Auster was fantastic doing his super large demo onstage! Scott Christensen spoke about his beginnings into an art career and did a demo from a previous plein air study Matt Smith did a demo from a previous plein air study along with a photograph of the scene. It is a common way that plein air artists use their studies back in the studio. There were even duo-demos like this one with Master artists Camille Przewodek and Ned Mueller. I met many artists who I admire who were participants in the Convention, like Marc Hanson (left) and Paul Kratter (right). It was also great to see some "old" friends at the convention too! Pictured here with Deb Groesser (left) and Becky Joy (right). It was also great to see the America's Great Paint-out organizers, Joe Taylor (left) and Natalie Shoaf (right) from Florida's Forgotten Coast! Artists were painting everywhere on the two onsite painting days around Red Rocks Canyon. There were over 500 artists in attendance! I enjoyed seeing the many different styles of painting, mediums, equipment, and just meeting everyone! I loved hanging out with my two favorite artists and teachers from Tennessee, Dawn Whitelaw (left) and Lori Putnam (right)! Next year's convention will be held in California and I plan to attend!