MacKechnie Waterbus WC.JPG

"Plein Air Painting" w/ Joe MacKechnie

DATE/TIME:  Sunday July 14th 10am-4pm

COST: $95

REGISTRATION:  Call in, come in, or register online.  Scroll to the bottom of this page for online registration.  425.697.2787.  All Levels.  All Mediums

LOCATION:  You will first meet at Cole Art Studio on the lower level of Cole Gallery before you will go out and about in downtown Edmonds.  Check in through the back door of Cole Gallery located around the corner from the alley that the Edmonds Bookshop and Engle's Pub bookends.



Plein Air Painting (painting from life, usually outdoors) provides the "purest" experience in what it means to be a true artist. Seeing nature, while in nature and committing to canvas what you are experiencing can be a rewarding event. Art instructor and artist Joe Mac Kechnie will assist you in learning the techniques for producing your first paintings while outdoors. You will meet in the Cole Gallery learning what supplies and techniques work best outdoors. We will then paint outdoors at a location in the Edmonds area.


You can pick up all your great art supplies at ARTspot in Edmonds just blocks from Cole Gallery.  Registered Cole Art Studio students will receive a 10% discount on all their art supplies.  Make sure to pick up your 10% off slip at Cole Gallery's front desk.
Artspot's Web Site

1-Day Workshop Plein Air Supply List

For the 1-day Plein Air workshop, you don’t need to purchase everything listed in the “Super List” below.  Just bring the following to get started:

  • An easel that can be used outside.  If you don’t have a Plein Air easel, don’t rush out to buy one yet; we will be discussing which ones to purchase in our workshop.
  • Paints and brushes you normally use in your studio.
  • Appropriate clothing to wear for the weather conditions of the day.
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen and hat for sunny days
  • Bag to carry stuff in.
  • Garbage bag for waste material
  • Portable palettes.  Again nothing fancy; just something you can hold while painting outside.  We will be reviewing different Plein Air Palettes.
  • Portable chair if you need to sit while painting outside

The Artist that is Passionate about Plein Air “Super” Supply List

If you already have Plein Air art equipment, bring it to the gallery and we will review what you have.  If not, don’t rush out and purchase everything listed below.  The list below can be purchased over time once you know what its like to paint outside.  Not everyone likes it and it can be very expensive to get everything at once. 

Outdoor Equipment (develop your own separate lists for time of year, painting from your car, urban painting, day-hike painting, or overnight backpack painting)

  1. Plein Air Easels (be prepared to spend some money)
  2. Portable chair or stool
  3. Transport bag, backpack or cart
  4. Umbrella. Another option: Folding nylon auto windshield sunshade can be clipped to your palette or can be used in place of a tarp to sit on ground.
  5. Clothes and rain gear (winter, spring, summer). Remember, you will get paint on them.
  6. Hats
  7. Medical and psychological aids  (sunscreen, bug repellants, first aid kit, pain killers, antidepressants for bad art, stuff like that)
  8. Food and drink (e.g. mucho wine if in Italy)
  9. Emergency (cell phone, flashlight or headlamp, maps, outdoor survival gear, overnight gear, mace, gun, knife, etc.)
  10. Digital camera or video camera with extra battery (or auto charging device)
  11. A compass to determine direction sunlight will move
  12. Dependable car for rough road travel
  13. Go with friend, a dog or fellow painter
  14. Sno Park backcountry parking permits
  15. Old tarp or blanket to protect the inside of your car from wet paintings or to use for picnics
  16. Device for carrying wet paintings
  17. Cleaning materials for getting paint off your hands and other places
  18. Bungee cords, big clips to hold things together
  19. Rope and ground anchors for windy days to tie things down
  20. Battery powered, clip-on book lamp to use to paint dark or night scenes
  21. Business cards and bio to hand out to spectators
  22. Toilet paper, etc for when restroom facilities are scarce

Painting Supplies (develop your own separate list for watercolors, pastels, oils and acrylics)


    1. Palettes
    2. Paints
    3. Brushes and brush carrying device
    4. Mediums (thinners, alkyds, water, etc)
    5. Palette knives
    6. Hand protection: creams, rubber gloves
    7. Pliers to open paint tubes
    8. Papers and sizes
    9. Canvases and sizes
    10. Panels and sizes
    11. Device for carrying wet paintings
    12. Scrapers and alcohol for cleaning palettes
    13. Containers for water, thinners, other mediums, paint tubes
    14. Plastic bags for carrying disposable wastes
    15. Paper towels and rags
    16. Sketch books and drawing materials
    17. Large clips
    18. Art board
    19. Pocket knife
    20. Hooks to hang things on your easel
    21. Art tape and duct tape
    22. Hand held mirror
    23. View finders, color isolators, value chart, color wheel
    24. Wax paper to put between almost dry paintings


Traveling Abroad

  1. Primary goal: travel light and cut bulk.
  2. Light weight clothes and rain gear for traveling. Dress in layers.
  3. Backpacks and travel luggage: reduce to one or two
  4. Study up on how to transport hazardous materials (paints, solvents, etc) on planes, trains and buses.  Or, ship them by separate carrier to your final destination).
  5. Don’t carry onto the plane palette knives or other perceived dangerous devices.  Airport security will take them.
  6. Leave at home heavy and bulky art stuff
  7. Use roll up paper and canvases.  Store in paper tubes
  8. Improvise; leave heavy, bulky easels at home.  Find ways to prop your boards and canvases on things at the Plein Air site.  Use your lap, picnic tables or backpack as an easel.
  9. Large garbage bags to place over backpacks to protect from rain.  You can also wear them as temporary rain gear.
  10. Buy paints and other materials at your final destination rather than bringing them with you on the plane.
  11. Use acrylics rather than oils; safer and easier to handle.  When you get back home you can add oil over the acrylics to finish off a painting.
  12. Extra pair of glasses.  Also bring sunglasses.
  13. Waterproof bag to protect camera gear.