After our Plein Air Convention in Tucson, AZ we asked attendees to tell us five things they learned during the trip. Here’s what they said.

  1. From Matt Smith…..once the design is fixed form is everything and paint texture creates a reality on the surface.
  2. From Brian Mark Taylor…….Core skills can be improved with concerted effort(deep practice), a journey upon which I have embarked. He also taught me the value sketching with a square format…..all the other formats can be found in the square
  3. From Jove Wang……how fleeting is our artistic memory…..the value of a color sketch as a reminder of what I was thinking when I started the painting.
  4. From Bill Anton …..I realized the value of a very loose/lean initial lay-out and he reminded me of what I saw at NC Wyeths’s studio……a prop room where lots of objects were there for his use in paintings…..Maybe should add a few props to my studio…
  5. From Eric…painful as it is, I never realized that 20% of my art “effort” should be directed toward concrete goals of getting the paintings into the hands of collectors(marketing et al).

– Chuck Manning


  1. Symphony is bigger than solo. Individually capable, collectively unbelievable. It’s good to surround ourselves with other artists and those that challenge me to be better than I ever thought I could.
  2. As an artist, never lose that sense of wonder & discovery you had as a child. It’s ok to be an artist foolish enough to believe the impossible will just keep happening.
  3. I found my energy tanks were deeper than I thought. Next time I’m going for empty- totally drained-hitting the pillow left of E, knowing I’ll wake up the next day with an even bigger tank fully refueled.
  4. A new level of focus is what I must bring, daily. (Thanks Jove Wang)
    1. A depth of gratitude is what sustains us. (Thanks Eric Rhoads and all PACE16 faculty.)
    2. My volume of love for art, for people, for subjects, is what eradicates fear. Don’t be afraid to turn that volume up to 11.
  5. And speaking of gratitude, I brought back ten tons of gratitude for all the Streamline Staff. Eric, your serving and sacrificial leadership showed the way.

Grateful!

– Steve Puttrich


  1. Don’t paint the first thing you see, take a deep breath and evaluate!
  2. Be fearless, have fun, and THINK… but not too much.
  3. Wipe it off, start again, no worries!
  4. Have intent and a story!
  5. Never give up, great things happen when you least expect them!

Thanks to Eric Rhoads and all the staff and faculty for their vision and generosity! Keep ’em comin’!

– Maren Smith Phillips


  1. From Lori Putnam… Match something in the landscape to the value of your pallet surface and work off that..guess what? The paintings I did, didn’t end up dark looking when I brought them inside.
  2. Use permanent red with ultramarine blue and a bit of yellow to grey it for the distant hills…I was using Alizarin Crimson Or cad reds,perm red gives me better results! I forget who suggested it, but thank you!
  3. Don’t flinch and duck when Eric Rhodes chucks a video at you…Thank you Lori Putnam for rescuing it for me..I watched the Statts video, and learned a lot!
  4. From Matt Smith I learned I was using transparent red oxide/burnt sienna in the wrong places. Amazing how much better my pieces are leaving that out. Wishing I could have gone to his pre seminar, but even if I was signed up, I was too sick to make it anyway…
  5. Tough picking something for the fifth, as there are so many things..but I would say the last would be from marketing boot camp, and that was that, although I was doing most things already, but lacked the consistency in contacting my client list. With the last move my antiquated computer jumbled up my contacts list out of categories…argh, so after this next, post retirement (7more working days) move, there will be a new computer and a mission…

Thanks mentors for your generous input out in the field, and being so approachable all weekend. I wish I had been able to get in on the lectures and demos I missed.

Looking forward to connecting with the Tucson and Prescott crowd when we move out there soon.

– Gabriele Baber


  1. I was fascinated by the art-gallery showing so many different paintings, what I realise is that a gallery of all these paintings – no matter the maturity of the piece your looking at – is a window into somebodies artistic journey. It moved me, and it shows that everyone has their own artistic journey.
  2. The convention in general was to some degree humbling (in a good way). To see great artists at work and do things that challenge you is a learning opportunity, no matter were you are in your journey.
  3. I’m starting to love the whole social aspect of being part of an artistic community. Thank you! It teaches me to get out there more.. ! I guess, I love working on my own, studio time, trying things out and such, but that is certainly not all there is. The convention breathes the idea of sharing your knowledge and passion with others. The convention works even on introverts.
  4. I wasn’t ‘sure’ about the short workshops on trees and clouds; if I could still learn something.. but what a great idea to have a short session on specifically something technical or in terms of subject matter.. a certainly picked up an idea or two. Great stuff for an evening session. The room was too small!
  5. Last but not least, PACE was worth the 12 hour flight I undertook from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. A great investment into my own artistic journey. Thank you organisers!

–Hans Groeneveld

  1. My credit card doesn’t melt from over-use.
  2. From Albert Handell: That at a point the picture is yours and nature or your photo reference is secondary, and
  3. Your surface and colors must all be in the same light.
  4. I really don’t need as much sleep as I thought I need.
  5. From Dave Santillanes: “If you mix your first color right, you can relate all others to it.” From George Strickland: “The fewer colors on your palette, the more likely you are to get harmony. Both so basic and so logical.

I suffered from information overload but came away inspired by the demonstrations, my new friends, our conversations and watching so many incredible artists at work that my life was changed forever. Thanks so much Eric Rhoads, staff and volunteers. You’ve created a wonderful monster!

– Mary Fuscaldo


  1. Always know your horizon line, linear perspective. It’s your eye level, it doesn’t move. Matt Smith
  2. If anything stands out at 15′, take it down!!! M.S.
  3. Yellow ocher & Burnt sienna are hot colors. Don’t put in the background or use by itself. M.S.
  4. Veridian HUE. great sky addition. M.S.
  5. When sketching in, capture the dynamic energy of the scene & use gestural flourishes. Don’t be boring!!! Jove Wang

– Asana Weaver


  1. Always travel with a posse of Carolina Gals. More fun and a group makes more friends to share the love and wisdom of painting.
  2. Matt Made me see the SW landscape with a blue temp approach, ultramarine blue is warmer in the SW landscapes than in the Carolinas. (In the lush greens of the Carolinas UB can be cool). And the warmer bluish shadows need broken cool and warm strokes, reflected light there too. He is the master of reflected light!
  3. Painting near our rooms, we found Curt Walters to be a delight to paint with and learn from, passing on so much, but one thing he said, off stage, if a client wants something changed in order to purchase, don’t do it, don’t feel you need to please, there WILL be the right buyer.
  4. Kathryn Statts brought in a painting from timeout on stage, and showed us how she would do a better version correcting mistakes she pointed out. So learn from the mistakes, turn it upside down to really see the mistakes that don’t relate well, and the new version will be awesome. Also, she says artists friends are the best and she’s met no jerks in art. I agree. (See point 1 again as…
  5. Everyone embraced us Carolina gals because this is about making fun with your work place, we danced, we teased, we made friends and increased our group. Took a stagecoach ride and learned Krystal likes to do the same. (Krystal shouting “needs more red” and “you call that a painting.” And if you want to do the Maccarana on stage Eric, call on Mary Edna Fraser. See photos.
  6. Lee Milteer joined in our group and brought a lot to not only us, but the spirituality of the convention. We need leaders that bring truths out for us to validate and guide our careers from the heart, head, AND head.

– Karen Weihs


  1. I don’t have as much stamina as I thought I did – I was home napping by 3:30 pm each day, then back for the evening program – luckily, I live 10 minutes from the hotel
  2. There are an inordinate number of crazy talented artists
  3. To pay attention to movement, movement, movement
  4. Light, light, light
  5. You can gather hundreds of people together and not meet a single mean one. Great experience!!

– Karyn Rampell Vampotic


So many take aways as a first timer to the convention. A great experience shared with a wonderful group of artists. Here are five top of mind quotes that rang so true for me…

  1. “Paint what you love”, Kathy Anderson
  2. “Through knowledge comes freedom” Kathy Anderson
  3. “Use deliberate practice by identifying your target areas that will accelerate your growth” Bryan Mark Taylor
  4. “Work your cognitive skills…do a painting in your head” Bryan Mark Taylor
  5. “Get your values right first, you can always shift your colors later” Dave Santillanes
  6. “Failure gives a lot of useful information so learn from it rather than be embarrassed by it” Mark Fehlman

Oops that’s six!

– Pam Kreba


Since it was my first experience I didn’t know what to expect.

  1. Eric has amazing energy and gives great hugs.
  2. Be patient with myself and not expect a masterpiece at first try.
  3. George Gallo is a joy to watch and learn from, and never disappoints.
  4. I learned how values and complementary colors make a painting pop.
  5. I learned how the leader sets the tone for the whole convention. The tone was definitely supportive and kind. I am so grateful to be involved with this group and to have participated in the Tucson event.

– Laura Danon


  1. Our mountains are pretty cool to paint as I experienced through the eyes of those visiting our lovely surround. I love painting buildings, but hiking or walking the trails associated with our beautiful Catalinas has been my preference. I now can see them with a painterly eye!
  2. As a first-timer to the Convention, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, so every demo, every walk by to watch others was a lesson. 😀
  3. Cindy Barron was amazing to watch, I learned about using plain water to add shadows, and light values in a way that is magical.
  4. Brienne M Brown was so much fun to watch, and I learned more about simplifying the design of my watercolor to add interest. Plus she is just a delight to be around.
  5. Tim Oliver and urban sketching helped me to save 2 of our painting adventures because one day I forgot my paints, but had my brushes. The second day I switched bags and had my paints but no brushes, so I was laughingly forced to sketch (was my passion before I discovered watercolor). Thanks to all!

And to you Eric, for coming to the desert….

– Rebecca Ganz