What They're Saying...

Michael Chesley Johnson knows how to pack a lot into a small package – whether it’s his painting gear or a 5” x 7” landscape painting. Being a master of the essential is no mean feat. Michael Chesley Johnson’s latest book, Backpacker Painting, will reward the attentive reader with a wealth of outdoor painting know-how for a no-nonsense, no-frills approach to outdoor painting in every season, day and night. - Carl Judson, Judson's Art Outfitters

I took it to our plein air group meeting and it was received with happy sounds. It's already loaned to a member ... the group was impressed and pleased with it. And this is not an easy group to impress. - Kitty Wallis

In the tradition of Rick Steve’s “less is more” guides for the traveler, Michael Chesley Johnson’s Backpacker Painting offers painters excellent guidelines for carrying the lightest load possible without sacrificing any of the necessary tools for a successful plein air experience. As well, the instruction Michael offers on limited (and lightweight!) palettes that can meet the color mixing needs of the landscape is sure to benefit artists looking to reduce the quantity of materials and time required to prepare for a painting trip. - Briana Ragone-Ball, Gamblin Artists Colors

Friday, February 1, 2008

Announcing the New Book

My last book, Through a Painter's Brush: A Year on Campobello Island, met with such success that I decided to move forward to the next one. As many of you know, the first book was a collection of paintings of Campobello and mini-essays about my painting process. I had intended it for both collectors and students. Now, my students have asked me to do a pure instruction book. With that in mind, I'd like to announce my new project.

Backpacker Painting: Outdoors with Oil & Pastel won't be your usual instruction book. Although it will cover fundamentals, the main goal is to cover advanced topics, especially as they relate to what I call "extreme portability" in plein air painting. It'll be packed with plenty of information and demonstrations.

In addition to the book, I am working on a companion DVD. This hour-long disc will have two demonstrations, one in oil and the other in pastel. I expect to have both parts of the project completed sometime this summer.

One aspect of the book that is very important is the products presented. I wanted to make sure that I recommend only those that I use personally in my painting. I am fortunate enough to have support from Ampersand Art Supply (Gessobord), Gamblin Artist Colors (oil paints and mediums), Guerrilla Painter (pochade boxes and accessories), Mount Vision Pastels (pastels) , Kitty Wallis (sanded pastel papers) and Heilman Designs (pastel box and more.) You can find links to their sites in the column to the left of this page.

As of this post, the book is about half-written and shooting has begun on the videos. I'll post more news as it develops!