Saturday, October 4, 2014

Plein Air Mt. Lebanon 2014

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for good weather the next few days, because I'm going to be painting outdoors all week long. Beginning this Sunday, I'll be participating in Plein Air Mt. Lebanon 2014, a week-long event taking place on the streets of Mt. Lebanon, PA, and in the greater Pittsburgh area. Twenty-five artists from across the country have been invited, and I'm one of them!

8" x 10", ink & watercolor on 140 lb. paper

Luckily, Mt. Lebanon is only an hour or so from my house, so I won't have to deal with traveling cross-country to participate. I'll just load up my van each day and head out to paint. Not a bad way to spend a week!

Early last summer, when all the spring-flowering shrubs were in full bloom, I spent some time driving the streets of Mt. Lebanon, art supplies at the ready, and stopped to do a few practice sketches. The scene above is one of my favorites. I did the sketch on location, then painted it later at home from photos I had taken, but during the plein air event, all drawing and painting must be completed onsite - no exceptions!

8" x 10", ink & watercolor on Stillman & Birn Zeta series paper

Mt. Lebanon is filled with quaint old Tudor cottages, like the one I painted in the sketch above. And the main street offers plenty of urban subject matter, like this view...

I'm looking forward to a week devoted to nothing but painting. Wish me luck! There's a VIP Preview Party on Friday, October 10th, and ten of my paintings will be for sale, along with over 200 originals from the other participating artists.

Saturday, October 11, from 10 am to 2 pm, the plein air Paint Out will be held. This event is open to anyone who would like to try their hand at plein air painting, and there will even be cash prizes!

Click here for the week's schedule. There are lots of fun activities planned - an artists' market (with over 60 vendors), demonstrations, Art-A-Palooza and much more. I hope you'll check it out and join in the fun. I'll report back next week and tell you all about my great big plein adventure!


  1. You did such a wonderful job on these, especially the tudor cottage. It's lovely! Have fun on your painting adventure. Looking forward to seeing the results!

  2. So Pretty! I love the borders! Congrats on being chosen! I love your work!

  3. Can't wait to see your work! Enjoy the experience! Can't wait to see your work and hear about the event! :)

  4. Gorgeous paintings, Leslie! I love the homes with their gardens. The whole event sounds like so much fun!

    How do you like working on the Zeta paper? I've been using the Beta sketchbooks for Sketchbook Skool, and I like them a lot. But I just started a Zeta sketchbook, and I'm having trouble adjusting to the paper.

    1. Susan,
      If you look in the blog archive list in the column on the right, under August 2013, you'll see that I did a series of blog posts about the Zeta sketchbook when I first tried it. You might want to read some of those posts. Overall, I like it. The paint does slide around on it, so there's a bit of a learning curve in figuring out how to handle the paints. And layers seem to lift really easily, so you have to be careful with that, but I really enjoy using the Zeta paper. Because the paint slides around, you get lots of nice blending and mingling of colors. And the bright white paper really makes colors sing. Also, the slick surface makes drawing with any kind of pen a breeze.

      I wouldn't want to use it exclusively, but I think the Zeta is a fun sketchbook and I like having it as one of many that I work in.

    2. Thank you, Leslie! I'll check your archives--one of my favorite places to poke around!

  5. The paint out in Mount Lebanon sounds like such fun...and it is great that you live close enough to go back and forth each day. I have been slowly catching up on what I missed while I was in Italy and assorted places for nearly a month of sketching. It is good to be home and able to visit other blogs again but I miss the inspiration of so many new views to paint. I'll be back to see the results of your week of painting.


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