I borrowed this phrase from the recently deceased Canadian painter Robert Genn who believed that there is only so much we can learn about how to paint from the many fine instructors and resources available today. The true learning comes from going off on our own and just doing it - Go to your room!

I have had the good fortune to take instruction from outstanding artists in Canada and the USA. I continue to work on my own development ( Going to MY room!) . I share, through this blog and workshops, what I have learned and what others have shared with me.

I created this blog primarily for those attending my workshops to keep in touch and to further share as we grow together. If others are interested in following that would be great.

Enjoy the journey.

Monday 12 March 2012

Great Little Gadget!

Manfrotto on Easy L 

Getting back into the plein air mode. Just off a Preparing for Plein Air Workshop and with the weather starting to improve I am getting itchy to get out and at it. One little gadget that I wanted to share that has been very useful to me but I rarely (like never) see others using. 

I cannot encourage too strongly, particularly in plein air,  making small value sketches to establish your plan before you get out your paints. Sometimes half a dozen sketches before you have what you want to work with: size of fore, mid and background; value dominance, etc. The trick then is to stick with that plan once the painting begins - and not get distracted back to the scene where you are in danger of chasing shadows, cloud shapes etc. To make that work you need a convenient way to have your reference sketch there for you. 

The best I have found is the Manfrotto Double Spring Clip. They seem expensive but are well constructed. I have a half dozen - one in each kit and two in the studio - I  have never had a problem so I think they are good value. I got mine from Judson Plein air. Good company with good service. 

The sketch pads I use are Strathmore Drawing 4x6 inches. 

Something to consider. 

On Soltek easel. 


  1. Thanks for this tip -- I'm going to get one! They're also at Adorama...

    1. Thanks for YOUR tip. Think you find it useful. Cheers.


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