Plein Air Watercolour Painting

Putney Field s

A 2-Hour Plein Air Watercolour Workshop with BRIAN D. COHEN     

WHEN:   Saturday, 16 September, 2017 from 2pm – 4pm  OR   Sunday, 17 September, 2017 from 2pm – 4pm

WHERE:   To meet at Main & Station, Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, B0M 1S0.  The course itself will take place at an outdoor site near Main & Station.

WHAT:   The French term  “plein air” means “open air” and is used to describe the act of painting outdoors while focusing on the visual conditions seen at the time.  In this plein air watercolour course, participants will paint into wet paper, timing the drying of the paper as they lay in new washes of colour.

The workshop will offer participants an approach to working very quickly and directly in watercolour onto wet paper. The focus is on observation of light, shape, and colour in the landscape. simplifying or obscuring detail in favour of larger forms and the broader swell of colour, aiming for a “colour chord” or harmony that speaks of time, light, and distance all at once.


Brian and Roscoe copyBrian is an educator, artist, and writer. In 1989 he founded Bridge Press to further the association and integration of visual image, original text, and book structure.  As a visual artist, his primary medium is etching but he is also a prolific painter:

“My paintings are done entirely on site from observation of the landscape, and represent my persistent practice of intimate and repetitive engagement with a place that I am especially drawn to.”


As a printmaker, he has shown in over forty individual exhibitions, including a retrospective at the Fresno Art Museum, and has participated in over 150 group shows.  His books and etchings are held by major private and public collections throughout the country, including Yale, Harvard, Brown, and Stanford Universities, Middlebury, Smith, Wellesley, Swarthmore, and Dartmouth Colleges, the University of Vermont, The New York Public Library, The Library of Congress, and the Philadelphia and Portland (Oregon) Museums of Art, as well as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the United States Ambassador’s residence in Egypt.  He was the first-place winner of major international print competitions in San Diego, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, and was awarded the Best Book in Show at the Pyramid Atlantic Book Fair.

Brian is also the illustrator of two popular natural science books, Reading the Forested Landscape and The Granite Landscape, and is a frequent contributor of artwork to literary reviews and other publications, including the Paris Review.  A book of his work, Brian D. Cohen: Etchings & Books, was published in 2001. His writing on prints, books, and arts education have appeared in the Huffington Post, Art in Print, Parenthesis, Vermont Views, and other print and online journals and magazines.

To learn more about Brian D. Cohen and what he is doing and where, please visit his website

Bald Mountain, Sunset   IMG_8590

REQUIREMENTS     This workshop is open to anyone interested in improving their watercolour painting and observational skills.  Participants should have some familiarity and experience with painting outdoors.


Participants should bring their own paper, brushes, paint, and palette.  For this class a watercolour block is ideal to paint on. Since the paintings are done very quickly, three or four blocks would be ideal, so participants can start on a new painting while one dries.

If you have any questions, email us at


If you will be coming from out of town, please let us know if you need any help or information, such as with directions or accommodations.


Cost  / Participant:  $75 +hst = $86.25

Space is limited. Register now!

To register, please fill in the form below and send your payment to reserve your place, or send an email to, or call 514-979-3978.  An email will be sent to confirm your registration and receipt of your payment.  If you do not receive confirmation within 5 days, please contact us.


If you wish to pay by credit card, select PayPal when you register and we will email you a PayPal invoice.

Pay the easy way with an Interac e-Transfer: simply go to your online bank and send a transfer to

If you wish to pay by cheque or cash, stop in and see us or mail it to Main & Station, 168 Main Street, PO Box 507, Parrsboro, Nova Scotia B0M 1S0

Please be sure to fill in the registration form above so that we can reserve your place immediately.

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