The Sierra Club Guide to Painting in Nature (Sierra Club Books Publication)

The Sierra Club Guide to Painting in Nature (Sierra Club Books Publication)

by Cathy A. Johnson

Paperback(Reprint ed.)

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In this richly illustrated guide, nationally recognized artist and naturalist Cathy Johnson offers a complete introduction to the time-honored French style of plein-air (“open-air”) painting, made famous by the Impressionists of the mid-19th century who valued the honesty of painting outdoors and on-site, capturing the moment in one sitting.

Whether a beginner or an experienced artist, this book will inspire you to capture the spontaneity of nature’s beauty in pencil, pastel, watercolor, acrylic and more.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635615678
Publisher: Echo Point Books & Media
Publication date: 08/22/2018
Edition description: Reprint ed.
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 869,584
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Cathy Johnson has worked as a naturalist, writer, and freelance artist for the past 40 years, and was staff naturalist and contributing editor for Country Living magazine for 11 years. She has been a contributing editor to Artist's Magazine and Watercolor Artist, and authored a regular column in Personal Journaling, where she wrote on the importance of creativity in our lives. Her writing and artwork have been included in a number of nature anthologies and art books.
She has written and illustrated many books, and contributed to a number of others, working with a variety of national publishing houses.
In 1993, she founded her own small publishing company, Graphics/Fine Arts Press, which primarily offers books of interest to the reenacting community or others interested in history and material culture.
She has been a longtime member of the Author's Guild. She was chosen Conservation Communicator of the Year by the Burroughs Audubon Society in l987, and won the Thorpe Menn Award for Creative Writing (AAUW) for The Naturalist's Cabin: Constructing the Dream (Viking Penguin) in 1992.
Cathy teaches a number of self-directed mini-classes on her website, She also offers a number of free tutorial videos on YouTube; visit

Table of Contents



1. Painting on the Spot

2. How to Sharpen Your Powers of Observation

3. Mediums and Techniques

4. Gearing Up for Outdoor Work—Beyond Choosing Your Medium

5. Getting Started

6. Basic Elements of Landscape

7. Catching the Changing Effects of Light

8. Painting Through the Seasons

9. Flora and Fauna

10. Finding a Special Place: Relationship Between an Artist and Landscape

11. Demonstration

Appendix I: Where to Buy Equipment and Supplies

Appendix II: Workshop and Outdoor Painting Opportunities


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