Alabama Plein Air Artists

Painting the Great Outdoors

APAA February 2017 Newsletter

APAA Director

APAA Director 2017


 Ahhh…..spring is just around the corner!  Can you smell it in the air?  I can!  There are daffodils, quince, spirea and mahonia blooming in the garden.  Yes, there’s still time for an Alabama snow fall, but this time of year does get me excited nonetheless and ready to “spring clean” my plein air backpack.

With a spring packed full of fabulous paint outs coming up for our Alabama Plein Air Artists, I thought I’d run this checklist by everyone, especially our new members who may be new to plein air painting, just in case you want to do a little spring cleaning with me.  Here’s a look at my usual plein air kit:

Kelty Redwing 40 Backpack (good size for women)

Strada or Coulter System & tripod with stone bag

Small, non-leak brush cleaner with Odorless Mineral Spirits (OMS); keep extra in car

Gamblin Solvent-Free Gel

Paint: Limited palette of small tubes (red, yellow, blue, large white, maybe a convenience color or two)

Small plastic box or Ziploc Bags for Paint

Canvas Panels in PanelPaks, (2/ 9×12, 2/11×14)

Viva paper towels  (take a bunch off the roll and smash it down flatter)

Plastic grocery bags – to carry out your trash

“Tools” – Leatherman tool, duct tape (small roll), bungee cord, plastic C-clamps

Palette Knife

Brushes, #2-10 (bristle & synthetic, mostly Rosemary Brushes) & Brush case

Digital Camera (or use phone camera)

View finder & small, unbreakable mirror

Small sketchbook & Pencil or Value Markers

Value Chart (opt)

Rain poncho or packable windbreaker jacket (depending on weather)

Hat or visor

Essentials:  Bug spray, suntan location/block, sm. first aid kit (band-aids, Polysporin), pepper spray

Baby oil or Wet Wipes (cannot carry oil on airplanes)

Nitrile gloves

Ziploc sandwich bags (a few extra in case of paint leaks, etc.)

Wet canvas carrier (Panel-paks or Ray-Mar boxes)

Carbiner clip to attach car keys, whistle

For Sun:  (optional) Choose from – Car sunvisor or Umbrella – use if easy to pack in or if car-painting – Bestbrella, etc.

Business Essentials:  Business Cards, PayPal Triangle or Square Register (in case someone wants to buy on the spot!)

Each plein air painter develops his/her own kit based on personal needs, and these typically change over the years, depending on how much “stuff” you want to haul around, the terrain, and distance from your automobile.  It’s a personal thing.

See you at the next paint out!


Click or poke here to download the list: plein-air-kit

A kit list is also available on the “Plein Air Tips” page.