Plein air

Plein Air Painting Program for members Update – by Charlie Spratt

MAA members have been participating in our MAA Plein Air program each summer for a number of years, except for a break last year due to Covid-19. We are hoping to organize it again, starting in June. Join 10 – 18 MAA artists, of all levels, who meet and paint at pre-selected locations around Ottawa each Thursday morning. Sign up to receive weekly e-mail notices with information on directions to the next painting location and other details. Everyone is responsible for arranging their own transportation and, in the event of poor weather, it is up to each individual to make their own decision to attend or not.

We meet on location at 9:30 am and finish at noon. Most artists are happy to put their work on display but it is your choice. Occasionally, some artists gather at a local restaurant for lunch after.  There is no structured instruction during these sessions – everyone is expected to bring their own supplies and work independently. However, if you are a beginner or looking for advice and information, please let us know so we can be of assistance.

It is that easy and open to all members.

Why Plein Air Painting?

There are a lot of great things that can come from plein air painting. First, there is the simple enjoyment from painting with friends in the fresh air and sharing the adventures of new places. But there is much more! With time and effort, by painting outside, you can learn to perceive colour and the effects of light on shadows and reflections in new ways. Plein air painting can make major improvements to one’s work, whether it’s a studio landscape, portrait or any other genre. “In time, plein air painting teaches us to see as artists. I know this to be true from years of instructing and painting outdoors in all seasons” – Charlie Spratt

Why not give it a try? It can be frustrating at first because there are so many outdoor elements from which to choose and so little time before the sun’s overhead path changes the shadows and hues. But we learn by trying and we can learn by watching and listening to other seasoned artists too. Happy painting!

To sign up or for more information simply email me at:

Charlie Spratt OSA CSPWC SCA

Charles Spratt, artist, teacher, has been painting professionally for 40 years. He has painted the landscape and given painting workshops from the BC West Coast to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Supporting the visual arts in the surrounding Rideau Area

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