Tag Archives: plein air

goat hill autumn scene

Goat Hill Autumn Vista

Painting is nothing and everything at the same time. Taking color from nature and making it real onto the canvas. Making something from nothing. It can be considered magical or impossible. Being human makes it possible for us to do a painting or anything creative at that.

I visited the highest point of Lambertville, a park with a road called “Goat Hill”. Walking through the forest on a trail, I could reach the top of the hill in just half an hour from my house. I took pics of the vista. Looking at the beautiful valley with the Delaware River cutting through it like a knife. The Autumn foliage adds all kinds of warm colors to it. I knew I had to paint this scene. I used an unusual dimension size because squares are fun and unique sizes to do. I wanted to have a warm underpainting and painted reds and oranges before adding some greens for the trees.

The sun was starting to set and took the sunset highlights and added shades of blue all over the sky. It seems that I’m enjoying painting the simplicity of a scene without overdoing it on color and texture, it’s allowing me to paint faster and to have the colors more crisp and deliberate. This was a fun challenge to do. I’m always curious about where this painting will lead to next.


written by Joshua Lance, 8/10/2018

Between 2018 and 2019 I completed posts on a different site and I’m slowly transferring these posts from that period.

My first painting in Ireland

Portugal is over, so what is an artist to do?  He goes to do an art festival.  In Ireland of all places!  I planned this several months ago and haven’t done an arts festival on this level.  I was part of an international art show called “Art in the Open” where nearly 200 painters from everywhere emerged in Wexford County, Ireland to paint at various beautiful locations.  And I completed eleven paintings where I just put up on my website.  8 days of painting bliss.  Where to begin?  I’ll start from the beginning.

This painting of “Wexford Red Boat” was my first painting completed in Ireland.  It was my choice where to pick out the spot, and I have never done boats before.  I soon found out there were many firsts on this painting trip.  I painted alongside a few other artists that day.  It was a bit cold, in the 60’s which for the summer is very nice.  Early in the trip, it was cold, cloudy and rainy at times but the weather became hotter and drier as the week went on.

The composition was a bit complex, as there were so much detail and information to choose from.  The point is to always simplify into shapes and colors and save the details till the end.  I didn’t know it at the time, but this painting was going to be at the Green Acres Gallery exhibition at the end of the trip.  All artists had to choose two paintings and get them in the gallery for a two-day show.  

So fast-forward to the end of the trip, this painting sold!  I was told about this before I entered the gallery that day.  I found out that the gallery didn’t want the artists and patrons to mix because they wanted the patrons to have space.  The patrons paid $50 to use as a credit to see the show first.  They were the first group in, and I couldn’t mingle with them, ah so crazy!  So I walked around town and returned two hours later to find out someone purchased one of my paintings.  I was so excited about seeing a red dot by my painting.  It’s been years since I entered any kind of competition and I wanted to meet whoever bought my work.  They weren’t there at first so I went downstairs and got a drink and chilled.  Soon after, I decided to go back upstairs and there they were, the great Irish family who bought my work was right there!  So glad we met and talked.  Personal attention like this is important to me, and I hope it added to their experience too.  

Because in the end, people who purchase your work must be like gold.  You have to nurture and take care of your clients.  They’re now a permanent part of your life as your art is to them.  That connection will never be broken.  

My painting sold to a great Irish family!
Amalfi Coast, Italy

My Little Italy, a travel haven (and art everywhere)

Welcome to my first virtual online art exhibition highlighting some of my best paintings on my Italian painting trip in July/August 2017. I traveled to Naples and the Amalfi coast where I brought my easel and painted outdoors among the Italian vistas and colors of the landscape. There’s a post below the images explaining further in detail of my trip. I hope you enjoy this exhibition!

Amalfi Coast, ItalyFirst travel stop in Italy…Camelot?

Welcome to my Little Italy!  Ah, Italy…a haven for artists.  Your senses will travel to another time and place.

If you were wondering where I was hanging or painting, if you remember last time I posted, I was about to leave my confines of Colorado to Italy for 3 weeks before going to Portugal. It was one big crazy trip just getting to Italy! And that was just through the airports trying to get all my luggage on board. And what’s the deal with airlines hitting you with charges for extra weight? Pretty soon, they’ll be charging for being too heavy as a person, and possibly oxygen.  This is one of the burdens of being a travel painter.

But I digress. The point is that everything feels like a burden at the airport until you get to your destination. And once I got to Naples, I started to unwind. My first stop was a cool large house called ‘Camelot’. I was there just for a few days but I had an awesome room of my own with a view. And I came up with a painting too.  ‘Scafati Hills’ was painted from my balcony at my first stop, Scafati.

Scafati Hills

‘Pompei Arch’, from my second visit



In the old ruins of Pompei












Next up, two weeks at a local hostel in Sant’Agnello, a small town on the Amalfi coast close to Sorrento. It was a nice hostel, I had a nice bed on the bottom bunk and somehow I still had my privacy.  Especially when I painted in the morning and came back to my room in the afternoon. No one was there, I was in heaven!  It’s all about using your energy the right way.  People came and went as quickly as I was producing art.  I walked everywhere, from here to Sorrento which I liked very much.  Gelato, beach and art.  Really, what more do you need?  This time was when I was quite productive.

Power of Pochade

Vacation was an afterthought, more like “a business with hints of pleasure” mindset. I know people who would live it up with partying, food and going to 10 places a day, but let me tell you. That would exhaust the crapola out of me. In my mind, one painting, and one place to visit per day was quite enough. I like to keep my goals simple otherwise I am prone to get exhausted quickly if I’m not careful. It’s a marathon, not a race.  I kept the setup simple.  My pochade box for smaller works, and my easel for larger ones, especially in Positano where I also had my works for sale too.  I turned my easel into an outdoor workstation and art gallery.

Painting in Positano

Ah Positano, one of the main reasons I made this trip here.  I wanted to paint and sell art like the famous Positano painters I’ve heard so much about.  A full set up with my easel, I lugged my easel and supplies on crowded buses to finally set up at the beach. There were some onlookers and talked to a few people.  I advertised my small paintings in a basket and put up my prices on them.  And they were in plastic.  Much of the work in the baskets were of this trip and some other landscapes mixed in from Asia.  Luckily, no one told me I needed a permit or I was intruding somewhere.  At some points during my painting there, it was hard to not be enchanted by the beautiful women and landscapes all in one.

Positano paintings

My set up in Positano

Why didn’t I paint 4 or 5 per day?  Energy management.  I want to put all my energy into 1 painting rather than spread it thinly over many.  And I wanted to paint quality works, not a bunch per day. That’s just how I am and how I work.

Pompei was especially awesom. That was quite amazing to be there. You can feel the history under the cobblestone earth. And I did two paintings there.

Painting in ancient Pompei Ampitheatre where Pink Floyd played years ago.


Onto Praiano

My final destination for the trip was in Praiano, a small town near Positano on the Amalfi Coast. It was a lot less touristy than Positano, thank God for that. I stayed mostly in town for six nights, just walking around on the long and winding roads on the Amalfi cliffs was my main transportation. I got to hang at the beaches there and ate some of the best ravioli I ever had. Lemons are the big fruit there, so they put lemons in everything, including the sauces.

One of my main highlights was painting at a local 16th century church called San Gerreno. This is a place worth the burden of any travel.  I felt this could be my great big painting there. I started it there, and brought it to Portugal (while it was still wet) and finished a few days ago. Sometimes you can’t finish it all in one shot, some paintings require more time than others. And the results were worth it.

San Gennero Church, Italy

San Gennero Church 11×14 oil


So What’s Next?

So these were the highlights of my trips, documented by the paintings I created. But you’re in luck, because I will have my very first online exhibition of “My Little Italy” with all the paintings from this year’s Italian trip, plus several from last year’s trip to Florence/Rome that I have reworked as well. You can see all of them on www.joshualance.com on September 4 – November 1. They will all be available for purchase.

In the meantime, I will have a special viewing on September 3 for my fans who subscribed to my newsletter. They will have an opportunity to see and purchase one of my Italian paintings for their own collection. I will send out a newsletter in the next few days to explain, so here’s the link to sign up.  I arrived in Sao Joao da Madiera, Portugal last week and spent most of my time reworking my Italian paintings now you know what I’ll be talking about next time.

Thank you for your time and see you soon!

Also, you can follow my wacky painting adventures on Instagram and Facebook!

Italy and its glory