At the Ford Estate  11″x14″  Painted at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers, FL. Cottages on Pine Island  11″x14″  Painted at a park in Bookelia, FL., on Pine Island. Ding Darling  11″x14″  I painted this during Earth Day at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, FL.  It was very hot, and the birds flew away. Florida Farm  11″x14″  This farm is east of Fort Myers, FL. Arcadia Bridge 16″x20″  This is a bridge near Arcadia, FL. Rotary Park Pond  11″x14″  This beautiful park is in Cape Coral, FL. Cat Shoo Marina  11″x14″  This marina in Punta Gorda, FL., was devastated during a hurricane. Now it is home to a lot of old boats. Sanibel Lighthouse 16″x20″  The lighthouse is a popular spot on Sanibel Island. About a dozen of us painted here one morning. Florida Sheep Pasture  11″x14″  It was a misty day but I decided to let some sun shine through. Country Tractor  11″x14″  Painted at a farm near Arcadia in Manistee County, MI. Old Foundry at Elberta 16″x20″  The village of Elberta, MI., turned the site of this foundry into a park. It kind of reminds me of Sleeping Beauty. Wild Turkey Strand Preserve 11″x14″  I didn’t see a single turkey when I painted at this preserve east of Fort Myers, FL. Morsels from the River (sold)  11″x14″  Painted during a plein air competition in Traverse City, Michigan. Morning at Babcock Ranch  11″x14″   Babcock Ranch is a nature preserve between Punta Gorda and Fort Myers, FL. St. Joseph’s Church (sold) 11″x14″   This historic Catholic church is located in Leelanau County, Michigan. My painting buddy and I had a picnic on the church grounds and then got to work. Portage Point Inn   11″x14″  The wind was blowing very hard the day I painted this scene of an old landmark hotel near Onekama, Michigan.  I wanted to capture the feeling of a blustery day on Portage Lake.


En Plein Air

En plein air is a French term for painting on location in the open air.   It has become very popular among artists who paint in a realistic style.
Watercolors in this set were painted at various locations in Northern Michigan and Southwest Florida.
This slide show includes a group of watercolors of Douglas Valley near Manistee, Michigan.  I painted these on location this past summer.  The valley is the home of the Douglas Valley vineyard community with its rolling hills of vineyards and orchards, dramatic views of Lake Michigan, and its tasting house, where my paintings are for sale.  After a hard day of painting, it’s great to pop into the tasting house for a nice glass of wine.
I enjoy participating in plein air competitions where painters compete for cash awards.  Artists using watercolors, oils, pastels, pen and ink and other two-dimentional mediums can be seen at these events.
Some of these competitions are “quick draws” where artists are given a limited time – two or three hours – to finish
their paintings.  It’s hectic, but also a lot of fun. Paintings at en plein air competitions can be purchased at “wet paint” sales later in the day or evening.
Morsels from the River was painted during a competition in Traverse City, Michigan, this past summer.  It sold later in the day at the wet paint sale.