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                                    FRESH AIR 

                                 Petersburg, Alaska's plein air painting group

                              Sketching the Stikine

On May 2nd, 2009, eight plein air artists from Petersburg were picked up by Wrangell based Summit Charters at the south end of Mitkof Island. Our destination:  a Sketch the Stikine workshop with Juneau artist, Kathy Hocker.  No one left disappointed and all left wanting lots more.

     Instructor, Kathy Hocker and our landing site along the Stikine River Delta.  Now how were we
                                        supposed to fit that scene in that tiny frame?


          Lazy sea lions provided cheap models with plenty of opportunities for quick sketches.

         Carol and Marjorie make a final pit stop               Marjorie sketches in her electric limpet hat

     Karen sketches a watercolor scene filled with action while Don mixes up pencils and oil pastels.


  Carol renders the Stikine with it's driftwood guardians as Sally hones in on Sandy for a sneak peek.

          Alice and Judy confer before the final wrap up with Sandy, Kathy, Sally, Alice and Judy. 

       International Plein Air Painters Paint Out

In September, 2008, we joined (from a distance) artists from Brazil, the West Indies, Italy and the U.S. -- to name a few locations -- as we participated in the 6th International Plein Air Painters Paint Out.  We even had sun and a couple of black bears participate.


Carol Beckett, Don Cornelius, Sandy Wolf, Sally Riemer, and Karen Cornelius
                                            Photo by Tri Pod

            Pete Beckett, leader of our support group and Carol Beckett

    Sally Riemer and one of her fans           Carol Beckett and Sandy Wolf

            Images from a Plein Air Painting Workshop

    Taught by Kesler Woodward                                         July 25 through 27, 2008

    Sponsored by the Alaska State Council on the Arts and Petersburg Arts Council

Workshop instructor, Kes Woodward, critiques a painting
at the end of the first day of painting.  The big question
was, who took credit for the painting?  That's because
after getting us all pumped up with things to look for as
we worked such as a range of values and intensities and
ways to achieve a feeling of distance, he threw us a ringer.

The ringer came after an hour and a half of work, we
found out we were in an artistic version of the game of
"musical chairs."  We had to find someone with whom to
exchange paintings.  What a great way to take away our
possessiveness of the paintings, to loosen us up and pay
attention to what we were learning rather than try to
come away with paintings to hang on our walls.


L:  Brooke Cummins                   C:  Mystery Artists Works                R:  Joe Viechnicki

L:  Berthiel Evens works on
    Sally Riemer's World's
    Most Scenic Outhouse

R:  Bev Siercks works on Lana
    Corl's alder


L:  Carol Beckett             C:  Even Kes had to cook his own lunch      R:  Marjorie Paust gets                      knows how be                                                                                      admiration
    comfortable when
    she paints                                                                 


L:  Brooke Cummins       C:  Brooke's rework of Carol Beckett's start         R:  Alice Young


L: Cherie Martens -Sandy                    C:  Sandy Wolf                        R:  Sandy Wolf - Cherie
    Wolf collaboration                                                                             Martens collaboration


Joe Viechnicki, Alice Young and Karen Cornelius's modifications of Don Cornelius, Marjorie Paust, and John McCabe's starts

Happy artists and their collaborative works at
the end of the first day of painting.

Day two began with simple enough instructions.
Pay attention to getting a range of values and
intensities, plus a good discussion of a variety
of topics.  But, then as Kes sent us off to paint
he tossed in a ringer.  Keeping the correct
values and intensities, we were to complete the
painting in it's complementary colors.  That is
greens were to be red, blues - orange, etc.
That was tough one for right brainers.

The following images came from that day, a
day with even one more challenge, rain
showers.  And no one even complained.


Joe Viechnicki and Sandy Wolf demonstrate differing techniques to paint in the rain.  Most of the rest of us stayed under shelters, close to Pete Beckett's fire.


Karen Cornelius followed up her painting in complementary colors with her interpretation of the scene as she actually saw it.


Kes offers suggestion about Joe Viechnicki's and Berthiel Evens' complementary painting, as well as everyone else's works.

That's it.   We have more images from this magical weekend, but this gives you an overview of what transpired.   We look forward to painting with our reinforced group, thanks to Kes, as the year progresses.  We'll keep adding images to this web page as our adventures unfold.

Fresh Air is a group of Alaskan artists who paint en plein air in the middle of southeast Alaska’s spectacular coastal rainforest.  Located in Petersburg on Mitkof Island, our remote location can only be reached by boat or plane.  We’re an informal group who generally try to get together to paint most Saturdays throughout the year.  While our objective is to paint en pleine air, frequent stormy weather necessitates flexibility in where, or sometimes, if, we go out.  When weather forces us indoors we often get together as a support group, helping each other grow in our painting lives.  While small in number, we’re big in spirit.  And we’re big in adventures.

We began painting together in January, 2006, and already we can ask how many plein air painters have watched whales feeding between brush strokes -- or have had a large bull sea lion chase us from our easels while painting on a harbor pier?  Working in an spectacular setting surrounded by wilderness these are but a sample of our exciting experiences.  

Fresh Air is an inclusive group who welcome artists who work in any medium to join us anytime.  We even welcome spouses and friends.  One member’s spouse is our unofficial fire builder to bring warmth to those semi-frozen fingers in sub-freezing temperatures, or to roast hot dogs during a summer outing.  Our goal is to have fun and grow as artists in the process.  We do both.

Roderick Smith, an Oregon/California artist on a 2007 pilgrimage to trace the footsteps of Rockwell Kent, gives an impromptu workshop to Fresh Air members Carol Becket, Doug Long, Sandy Wolf, John McCabe and Karen Cornelius

Sandy Wolf works on an oil painting while John McCabe searches for one of his abstract                 compositions on his version of a Daniel Smith folding chair.

    Bethiel Evens (left) and Carol Becket (right) demonstrate our tolerance for variable                                                         weather conditions.


                            Our 2008 Plein Air show at Wild Celery Gallery
L to R:  Doug Long, Carol Beckett, Sandy Wolf, Don Cornelius and Brenda Norheim

                        More Images of Fresh Air in Action

  John McCabe advises       A good place to paint             Sally Riemer
        Berthiel Evens


L:  John McCabe    C: John McCabe's At the Park, Fullerton, CA    R: Karen Cornelius

column 2       

   L:  Sandy Wolf        C:  Sandy Wolf's Celebration of Prayer     R:  Karen Cornelius
                                                                                                       and Carol Wallace


L:  John McCabe's Red Can  C:  Carol Becket   R: Carol Beckett's  Taku on the Narrows


L:  John McCabe          C: Carol Beckett's Winter Harbor         R:  Sandy Wolf


L:  Sandy Wolf's Speak              C:  Carol Beckett                R:  John McCabe's
        Mountains Speak                                                   Movements at Blind Slough


L: Angele McDonald        C: Cherie Marten's plein air in progress       R: Cherie Martens

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