The Best Outside Activity There Is

Filming an episode on plein air painting with Up North Media

It’s a beautiful sunny day, the birds are singing, the clouds are fluffy and white, the earth is teeming with life — flowers everywhere. It’s a day to be outside.

This past week, partnering with UpNorth Media, we made a TV episode on just what to do with a day like described above: Get outside and paint. It’s really not unlike golf or any other outdoor activity; it’s an excuse to be outdoors. But when you paint that beauty, you really look at it differently. So in my humble opinion, outdoor painting is the best outside activity, because you have to study the world around you forming a more intimate connection.

All you need is the right equipment. I like a pochade box, and a tripod to mount it to. Some paint, some brushes, and a patient and positive spirit.

The positive spirit is probably the most important thing you can bring along with you to paint outside. You’re there to be with nature, after all, and if you’re present, you can’t fail at that. Everything else is just a bonus.

It’s important to remember that everyone’s process is different. I work outside and in the studio. I love both equally, and work differently in each case. When I’m outside, I’m there to record nature as I see it, to study and learn from the greatest master of all: Mother Nature. In the studio, I take more license to change things up as I see fit.

The same is true with you. You get to figure out how you’re going to work, how much you want to play indoors and out. Will you finish your painting on location, over multiple trips? Or record the information to bring back to the studio with you?

The one thing I will encourage you to do is to study nature. Go be with her, get to know her, and watch your world change.

Look for the upcoming episode on plein air painting, coming to UpNorth Media soon. I’ll share the link as soon as it’s live. And I’ll be looking for you to share your own outdoor painting experience in the comments.

Cheers, and happy painting!

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