Keith Thirgood's Blog (26)

Etiquette for Artists at Plein Air Painting Festivals: Re-Posted

Etiquette for Artists at Plein Air Painting Festivals

The following article is reposted with permission from Michael Chesley Johnson's blog. If you're thinking of attending a plein air festival this year, read this first. A lot of good insight.

Keith Thirgood, President OPAS

Etiquette for Artists at Plein…

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Added by Keith Thirgood on March 10, 2015 at 3:04pm — No Comments

Photos from Wilson Street Studio's Canoe-In art retreat in Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park

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Added by Keith Thirgood on August 14, 2014 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Photos from Wilson Street Studio's Small Town Art Retreat with Don Cavin.

Here are a bunch of images from Helen and my Small Town Art Retreat with Don Cavin. Our students really enjoyed themselves in Newboro, Portland and Westport, Ontario. Painting up a storm.…

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Added by Keith Thirgood on August 14, 2014 at 1:09pm — 3 Comments

Building a Wilson Street Studio Plein Air Easel

A number of artists have asked us where we got our special, plein air easel set up.

When I tell them that I built it, they all want to see plans. To respond to all those requests, I've put together a PDF, which goes through all the steps of building your own Wilson Street Studio plein air field easel.

This easel requires some basic woodworking and metalworking skills, however, nothing advanced.

You need to be able to measure, saw wood and…

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Added by Keith Thirgood on May 18, 2014 at 6:38pm — 2 Comments

What to take when you go painting en plein air

We've often been asked what an artist should to bring when going plein air painting. Not that easy to say, as we are all so different, however, I can say what I bring. (This is for acrylic painting.)

First, you need to control your selection of paint. Depending upon how far I expect to walk with my kit, I bring either a bare minimum palette of colours, or a slightly expanded set.

Bare minimum set

Hansa Yellow Medium

Napthol Red Light

Quinacridone…

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Added by Keith Thirgood on May 5, 2014 at 8:16am — No Comments

Art Shows, Art in the Parks, Etc for 2014

Last year I had more time to come up with this list of shows. This year I'm a bit late in compiling a list.. I thought they might be of interest to other OPAS members. I invite you to add shows that you've heard of, where there is still time for members to sign up for. Here's what I've foiund this year.

With some of these shows, you have to join the organization hosting them, however, that's often not a real barrier. Sometimes the shows have a restricted geographic barrier. If there…

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Added by Keith Thirgood on March 15, 2014 at 7:30pm — 10 Comments

The New, Practical, Artist's Colour Theory

I have had mixed responses from other artists when I tell them about this. Some have been thrilled as it cleared up so much that stymied them with colour mixing. A few others have already been practicing some variation of this, however, others have reacted vehemently against the idea. Almost accusing me of artistic heresy. Hopefully some of you will find this helpful and no one will call for my lynching. :-)

Since Goethe and Chevreul wrote their respective colour theories in the early…

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Added by Keith Thirgood on December 15, 2013 at 5:00pm — 23 Comments

Ten Painting Tips

The following are ten steps I encourage all of our students to consider as they…

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Added by Keith Thirgood on August 31, 2013 at 7:48pm — 2 Comments

Composition 101

Composition is an interesting subject. When you read some books, they delve into the exceedingly complex compositions of the old masters showing circles, lines, boxes and overlapping structures they believe underpin these great works. Showing you this is meant to help you with your own painting, although I've never met anyone who found them all that helpful as a beginner. At the other end of the spectrum, we've seen and read art instructors who's compositional vocabulary…
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Added by Keith Thirgood on June 6, 2013 at 3:35pm — 2 Comments

What are Values and Why Should I Care?

Ask almost any professional painter and they will tell you that they don't paint objects, scenes or figures, they paint shapes. And to them, shapes are made up of areas of similar value. That is, how dark or light it is. In other words, what makes one shape separate from another shape is its value. 



There are several value scales…
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Added by Keith Thirgood on May 24, 2013 at 12:22am — 5 Comments

Capital One Art Show Opportunity

As you will have read in my message to you as a members, we have an opportunity to have an exhibition of the best of OPAS art in the Capital One Canadian Head Office in North York. Here's what I said in the message:

Art Show Opportunity

Your Board of Directors of OPAS have been in talks with Capital One, the credit card people. They have an Art Program they are bringing to Canada and OPAS has been invited to be a part of…

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Added by Keith Thirgood on May 7, 2013 at 11:53pm — 9 Comments

Deal on canvases

OPAS member Ron Murdoch (Owner of Northern Art Supplies, Huntsville) has an offer for OPAS members. He is overstocked with high quality 8x10 canvases. (These are double-primed, 12 oz, Canadian-made stretched canvases. If you check, almost all canvases at Curry's and other art stores are only 7 oz.)

Retail on these is $6.95. Ron is offering them to OPAS members, in bulk quantities, for $3 each.

He'll sell you bundles of 25, 50 or 100 canvases.

To…

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Added by Keith Thirgood on March 14, 2013 at 10:52am — No Comments

Links to juried shows and art in the park type events

I've been on the hunt for juried art shows and juried Art in the Park style events, and I've come up with a few. I thought they might be of interest to other OPAS members. I invite you to add shows that you've heard of, where there is still time for members to sign up for. 

With some of these shows, you have to join the organization hosting them, however, that's often not a real barrier. Sometimes the shows have a restricted geographic barrier. If there are any restrictions that you…

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Added by Keith Thirgood on March 1, 2013 at 8:27pm — 7 Comments

Guide on How to Host a Paint Out

Hosting a Paint Out is fun and not difficult. You don't have to be a long-standing member, or on the executive. You don't need a great organizer or even a great painter. It simply takes a few steps followed, as your role is to communicate and coordinate.

  1. At the basic level you choose a place, date and time  for your paint out.
  2. As a paint out, you create your entry in the OPAS Events area.
    Click on OPAS Events in the main menu…
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Added by Keith Thirgood on February 17, 2013 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Photographing Your Art

One of the issues I've noticed is that, for the most part, artists don't know how to photograph their artwork. Taking good quality shots of your art is important when you post them online and even more important if you are entering shots of your art for a juried art show. I was trained as a professional photographer and two-dimensional shooting was part of our training. I'll give you two approaches to shooting your art. First, the low-tech way and then the "proper" way.

Low…

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Added by Keith Thirgood on December 8, 2012 at 10:02am — 1 Comment

How To Use the OPAS Site

If you're having trouble with the OPAS site, this is the document to read. This is a relatively comprehensive guide, based upon questions and issues that members have raised. If it doesn't cover a problem you're having, send me a message or post your question on this blog and I'll add the solution to the guide.

  1. To access features as a member, you must be logged in. 

    If you see this on your screen in the upper right side, you need to click "sign in".…

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Added by Keith Thirgood on December 5, 2012 at 6:00pm — 5 Comments

Keeping warm while painting plein air in the Canadian winter

David Sharpe suggested I start a new topic, that of keeping warm during the Canadian winter while painting plein air. So that's what this is.

If you have any tips to share about keeping warm while your painting in the winter, please share them here.

Here's what I've learned from other members of OPAS and my own experiments.

  1. When it gets cold, paint for 20 minutes maximum, then get back to shelter to warm up with a coffee, etc. Do not stay out for one minute longer,…
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Added by Keith Thirgood on November 10, 2012 at 6:36pm — 9 Comments

Some plein air tips for finding compositions in chaos

Copied from the Wilson Street Studio blog www.wilsonstreetstudios.com 
After working with new plein air painters over the past couple of years I've found the following tips to be helpful.

Bringing order out of chaos

Painting…
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Added by Keith Thirgood on November 3, 2012 at 10:18am — No Comments

Steam Whistle Show

I've started this new post to carry on the discussion around the potential show at the Steam Whistle's gallery. If you want to comment about the Annual Show, please use that post.

So far, a number of members are interested in participating.

Questions have been raised regarding:

  1. Plein air or not plein air. Yes, paintings for the show must be plein air.
  2. Free vs fee. There will be a hanging fee of around $50 and 25% commission payable to OPAS.
  3. When…
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Added by Keith Thirgood on October 6, 2012 at 10:24pm — 12 Comments

2013 Annual Show, How to make it better!

Hi Everyone.

While the 2012 OPAS Annual Show & Sale is still fresh in our minds, I would like input from all of our members on what you want out of an annual show and how might we achieve your goals.

A little history.

We've hosted the annual show in the JEH MacDonald House for the last three years for a number of reasons.

  1. The space is large enough to allow 20 or more members to exhibit a selection of work.
  2. The space is very inexpensive. $155 for…
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Added by Keith Thirgood on September 25, 2012 at 6:24pm — 55 Comments

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