Backpacking plein air

As I am researching for an upcoming plein air back packing trip I ran across this interesting article from Don’t worry, I intend to post my experiences combining plein air painting with backpacking.


Artist Profile: Mark Boyle, Backpacking Painter

Written by  Steve Doherty

Mark Boyle next to his plein air painting of the “Hole in the Wall” Mark Boyle next to his plein air painting of the “Hole in the Wall

Washington artist Mark Boyle is an adventurous plein air painter who backpacks with his supplies to some of the most beautiful places on earth. From November 4-6, 2011, he hiked into Olympic National Park and painted the rock outcroppings, called “sea stacks,” and a natural arch.

Boyle’s campsite near within view of a “sea stack”3._PROFILE._MARK_BOYLE_IMG_0881
Another of Boyle’s plein air paintings created in Olympic National Park“I backpacked in to the park with all my gear, a tent, food etc following a beach trail to a rugged area north of Rialto Beach in the Olympic National Park. From that location, I could paint the amazing  “sea stacks” and a natural arch, called ‘Hole-in-the-Wall.’ I set up in an awesome sandy camping spot where visitors can pitch a tent and build a fire within view of the water, rock formations, and spectacular sunsets. While painting along those beaches, I tried to capture the mood and observe the changes light, especially at the end of the day. It was cold and just above freezing, but the campfire was warm at night. I painted at this location for many years and just sold a study of ‘Hole in the Wall’ in an exhibition of small works at the Howard Mandville Gallery in Kirkwood, Washington.

Boyle painting along the dramatic coastline

Sunset in Olympic National Park

While painting on location, I discovered that the combination of ultramarine blue and yellow ochre, tinted with Naples yellow light, matched the color of the sandstone rocks. This was one of the many discoveries I could not have made if I was working only from photographs.” For more information, visit

About Denis

A graduate of the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art; I have been drawing and painting ever since I can remember. I have always been inspired by the art of Romantic painters such as Eugene Delacroix, John Constable and W.M. Turner. I consider myself a modern Romantic seeking to capture the emotion or feeling of a subject above all else. Charles Baudelaire described Romanticism as "...situated neither in choice of subject nor exact truth, but in the way of feeling".
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