Painting in the Driveway


My studio is small. Chemical smells can fill the air quickly. I can ventilate for acrylic fumes, but scents from oils and their related thinners take control of my studio environment.

So when I paint with oils, I paint outdoors, or almost outdoors. On pleasant days, you can find me with my pochade box in the middle of the driveway. On less pleasant days, I’ll be in the garage but with both garage doors wide open so it feels like I’m outdoors.  And I sometimes take my pochade box on the road, but I’ve discovered I’m much more comfortable painting near home.

My studio is filled with shelves and drawers of painting supplies. And for years, I believed I would feel insecure not being around all those supplies as I painted. But spending the warm months painting in oils outside my studio has forced me to think and paint compactly. Minimal supplies can be creatively freeing!

The painting above is a small 12″ x 12″ oil on canvas that I completed while standing in the driveway. I took some liberties with my neighbor’s acreage – I left out the barn and I left out the cows but I added some water in the foreground that wasn’t there that day, but often is.  Completed with a few paints, three brushes, a palette knife and shop towels.

My oil supplies are few. All contained in a portable box attached to a camera tripod. I reduced to an eight-color palette which tends to remain the same but sometimes I’ll switch colors. I use only four or five brushes (with sawed off handles so they fit into the pochade box) and a small container to hold turps or thinner. A roll of shop towels is by my side and I always wear nitrile gloves to keep paint (and thus, paint thinner for clean-up) from my skin.

Click here to see a one minute video of my outdoor setup. And yes, it was shot in my driveway.





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6 thoughts on “Painting in the Driveway

  • August 19, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Enjoyed your post. Couldn’t find video…

    • August 19, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks Terry. As for the video, did you click on the underlined copy “Here is a one minute video”…? If you did, and it still doesn’t work, can you let me know. Thx. Bob

      • August 19, 2015 at 4:33 pm

        Video problem is now fixed. Thanks for checking.

  • August 19, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Can not see the video….

    • August 19, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks Ginette. The problem should be fixed now.

  • September 21, 2015 at 7:16 pm


    Quick question — is Golden Universal Acrylic Polymer the same as the Polymer Medium that you used over the weekend?



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