Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Guerrilla Painter

Carl Judson pulled up to the LAC in his "Moby Van" full of plein air equipment and  variety of art supplies.
 He visits plein air events and artist groups to talk about his Guerrilla Painter Pochade Boxes.  With a group of 9 or 10 artists in attendance, Carl explained a bit about how he got into this business after being a manager of a cattle ranch.  He had read an essay by Winston Chruchill that promoted painting as a way to ease stress.  Taking up painting but not wanting to be subject to cowboy critics, he would pack his supplies away quickly in a homemade box that fit under the seat of his truck.  Secretly capturing views of the world in this manner, with his little supply box, helped him coin the term "Guerrilla Painter" and thus was born Guerrilla Painter Pochade Boxes.

Carl emphasized the importance of having all supplies neatly at hand.  He's a part-time painter and wouldn't do it if it required too much set up time and array of supplies.  His small boxes expand the opportunities for painting.  The simplest solution is to buy the least amount of supplies you need, he says.

A slide presentation then highlighted the works of some well-known and some not so well-known plein air artists from Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, probably the first known artist to practice plein air painting as a discipline in the 1700's,

to the landscapes of Georgia O'Keefe. 

Not all of the artworks depicted beautiful outdoor scenes -- what one expects of a plein air work, as is the case with Audobon, who would shoot the birds he wanted as subjects, set them up in an outdoor scene, then paint them.  The mundane subject of a simple toolbox belonging to coal miners was painted by the Pittman Painters, simple beauty in its own right, but not the typical sweeping landscape expected in plein air works.  "One of our tasks as an artist is to describe the less obvious beauty in life", says Carl.  And with his convenient products, he makes that easier to do. His website is

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