Festival Keynote Workshop: Source to Studio



Join our Keynote speaker and judge for the 14th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival, Bill Cramer for this exciting workshop in Sedona. The workshop takes place during the Sedona Plein Air Festival (Oct 13 – 20, 2018) with Bill’s keynote scheduled Oct 17 at 6 p.m and the Awards Reception for the festival on the last evening of the workshop Friday Oct 20, 2017.

Bill Cramer is an influential painter and instructor. He has won many awards at the Sedona Plein Air Festival including Artist’s Choice, Best of Show, Collector’s Choice and the Sedona Image Award. Bill has also taught numerous workshops through the Sedona Arts Center and a popular Field Expedition “Painting at the Rim of the Grand Canyon” we now welcome him as keynote and judge for the 14th Annual Sedona Plein Air Festival.

This will be an enjoyable and intense 3.5 day workshop involving painting on-site in the Sedona landscape. We will learn the advantages of plein air painting, as well as the various approaches to working on-site and how to efficiently compose and complete plein air paintings. Emphasis will be placed on how to effectively translate the often complex three dimensional landscape onto a two dimensional plane using thumbnail sketches, limited palettes and the thoughtful use of colors, values, shapes, edges and textures.

Further emphasis will be placed on the creative process to make paintings that are more than strict representations of the landscape we see. Multiple demonstrations will be complemented by individual attention and group learning.

Students of all abilities are welcome. All students should have a basic familiarity with the painting medium of their choice.

Note: The final session of the workshop on Friday from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm will be a demonstration in the studio of how Bill takes a plein air work and reinterprets the landscape for a larger scale studio painting while talking through aspects of the process from compositional considerations to paint application. Other students will be allowed to register for this special demonstration session however the workshop students will have priority seating.

Bill Cramer

Bill Cramer

Growing up in southern California, Bill always had an interest in exploring nature and creating art. As an experienced rock climber, he spent much of his youth enjoying the more vertical places of the American west. This gave him a perspective of the world that few others would ever experience. He received a fine arts degree from California State University Long Beach and later moved to Prescott, Arizona with his wife Michelle to be closer to the scenery they both enjoyed. It was there that Bill discovered the joys and challenges of landscape painting, his outdoor experiences providing much of the insight and inspiration expressed in his art. Today with his wife and two daughters, Sarah and Megan, Bill divides his time between family, art and outdoor pursuits. “I’m satisfied when a painting is as rich as the landscape that inspired it. My goals are to keep exploring the southwest’s wild places, search for new ideas and express what I find exciting about landscapes and about painting.

Sedona Plein Air Festival (2016), Sedona, AZ. Artist’s Choice Award.
Phippen Western Art Show (2016), Prescott, AZ. Best in Show, 1st in Oils & Best Body of Work Award.
American Impressionist Society 16th Annual Juried Exhibit (2015). Southwest Art Magazine Award of Excellence.
Phippen Western Art Show (2015), Prescott, AZ. 1st in Oils.
Tempe Festival of the Arts (2015), Tempe, AZ. Best in Painting.
Sedona Plein Air Festival (2014), Sedona,AZ. Best of Show, Artist’s and Collectors Choice Awards.
Grand Canyon National Park (2014), Grand Canyon NP, AZ. Artist’s Choice Award.
Zion National Park Plein Air Invitational (2013), Zion NP, UT. Artist?s Choice & Purchase Awards.

  • Portable plein air easel
    Prolific, M-Box, Soltec, Strada, French, etc. or make your own (I did). Practice setting it up and using it before class, if possible. I have a few extras if any of you need to borrow one for the class.
  • Paints
    I'll be using artist grade oil paints. You'll get better results if you use better quality paints, not student grade. Utrecht and Gamblin are good brands for the $. Titanium White (large, up to 200ml tube) Cadmium Yellow Light Cadmium Yellow Lemon Cadmium Red Light Alizarin Crimson (or Quinacridone Rose) Ultramarine Blue Cerulean Blue and/or Cobalt Blue This split primary palette has a warm and cool of each primary color and is my usual palette, but feel free to bring whatever you're most comfortable with using. Any selection of colors will be a compromise; however a basic palette should have a minimum of 3 to 6 colors that can create a range of mixed hues and dark values all the way down to a near black (I don't use black, you can if you want).
  • Brushes
    Good quality bristle flats and/or filberts #4, #6, #8, #10, small to med. Medium palette knife. One of those retractable razor blade holder thingies is handy for scraping paint off your palette.
  • Odorless paint thinner
    Gamsol, Turpenoid, Sunnyside - (cheaper brands are not so odorless) in leakproof container with brush agitator.
  • Paper towels and trash bags
    Paper towels and trash bags to put them in (I carry grocery type and hook them to my easel).
  • Panels (with or without canvas)
    Bring 3 to 4 smaller panels for quick field studies and a few bigger sizes for longer ones. An assortment of sizes might include 6x8, 8x10, 9x12, 10x12; squares are fine, too - 8x8, 10x10, 12x12. I wouldn't suggest bringing any larger than these. No canvas paper, please.
  • Sketching supplies
    Sketchbook or pad (6x8 or 8x10), soft graphite pencil (9B, 8B, or 6B) and/or a big sharpie pen. Viewfinder if you have one.
  • Outdoor wear
    Sun screen, wide brimmed hat, insect repellent, camera to get reference photos, umbrella (can help to keep you cooler and keep the sun off your easel, but not entirely necessary). Wear clothes you will not be worried about getting paint on. A darker colored shirt (blue, gray) is best so it doesn't reflect light onto your panel.
  • Backpack
    A backpack to carry it all! Organize items so they can fit into a single pack. You can attach your easel to this or carry it separately. Any hiking we do for the class will be short; however, it's best to be able to get to your painting location in a single trip from your car.