Earth, Sky, & Water

Plein Air Painting

with USCAD instructor Alison Montgomery

"Take everything as it comes; the wave passes, then deal with the next one. – Tom Thomson

In this practical introduction to painting outdoors with watercolour, students will become familiar with watercolour materials and techniques while creating several landscape paintings. In the process of learning about paint, brushes, paper and /or canvas, students will also explore basic colour theory, watercolour techniques, and fundamentals of composition.

Each day will feature critique and discussion, demonstrations, and outdoor and/or studio work.


  • Students will practice color mixing.
  • Students will practice techniques suitable for painting landscape: flat wash, wet in wet, broken surface, dry brush.
  • Students will explore the fundamentals of en plein air composition.
  • Students will complete several paintings.

Although the first day will include an introduction to the watercolour medium and the practice of en plein air painting, some experience in either area would be an asset.

Date: Tues. August 6th – Fri. August 9th, 2019

Tuition: $465

  • Early Bird Price – $445
  • 20 Hours of Course Time
  • Material & Equipment Fee of $20
  • Daily “Boreal Bites”  
  • Morning Yoga
  • An unforgettable experience

Inclusive Price: $465 – $915

Inclusive Price varies based on chosen meal plan & accommodation during your time at forestART.

Contact Us
We are happy to help answer any questions you have about forestART!

Phone: 306 480 9010
Email: nesscreekforestart@gmail.com

Your Instructor : Alison Montgomery

Alison R. Montgomery lives and works in Saskatoon and has been painting in watercolour for over thirty years. As an en plein air painter, Alison is committed to immersing herself in the subject matter in order to effectively capture the season, the light, and even the time of day. The riverbank, prairie, and fields near and around Saskatoon and the shores of Waskesiu Lake and area in Prince Albert National Park are her preferred outdoor studios.

Alison’s Plein Air landscape paintings have been showcased in many solo and group exhibitions, and her work is represented in many corporate and private collections. Alison’s first solo exhibition of watercolour landscapes was in March of 1995 at Dennis Evans Fine Art (Saskatoon, Sk.), followed by a solo exhibition at the Godfrey Dean Gallery (Yorkton, Sk.) in April of the same year. From 1995-2013 Alison had many solo shows and was part of several group exhibitions as a gallery artist with the Pacific Gallery in Saskatoon. In November of 2016 Alison debuted new work in watercolour on canvas coated with absorbent ground in a solo exhibition of Plein Air landscapes at Hues Art Supply in Saskatoon. Her most recent solo exhibition was in November of 2018 at Hues Art Supply and again featured works in watercolour on canvas but was an exploration of a different inspiration: the work of the dancer as subject matter and of the studio, both for the dancer and the visual artist, as a workplace.

Alison taught Secondary Visual Arts in the Saskatoon Public Schools Division from 1984 – 2015 and completed a Master of Education degree in Adult Education with a focus on Lifelong Learning in 2017. Alison is currently an instructor in the University of Saskatchewan College of Arts and Sciences Community Arts Program, and at Hues Art Supply. 


When I first first attended Alison's art class in 2016 I enjoyed the class and it left wanting to learn more about this art form. Now I am a great admirer of hers and have a new found love of watercolour art. Alison is truly inspirational. Her gentle way of teaching and coaching is appreciated by all that have attended her classes. Alison brings people together as she has warmth about her. Her life's journeys have given her the beautiful spirit she brings with her everyday. Alison's knowledge of the process of creating and teaching watercolour is invaluable. Alison’s teaches at a superior level. She knows how to reach her students. She is prepared and brings different techniques for her students each and every class, in a perfectly balanced way. Anyone who takes her course at forestART will be creatively inspired!
Jill Bilbow
Fomer Student
"I am quite confident your workshop attendees will feel that four days will not be enough time to spend with Alison! She has the ability to make you want to learn more about painting with water colours. As for myself, Alison gave me the confidence to continue working with watercolour and now I find it an excellent way to spend a day."
Brenda Winny
Past Student & Rosetown Arts Council Chair



I would not discourage anyone from trying something they are interested in, but I might suggest a studio class in painting first. En Plein Air work is a bit challenging, even for experienced painters.

Weather permitting, we usually will be out in the field painting from mid-morning until mid to late afternoon. 

Including arrival and set up, sketching, painting, breaks, take down, and travel back, each day we will be away from camp from approximately 6 hours. We will take a bagged lunch with us provided by the caterer if you’ve chosen that option, or else that you’ve brought along yourself.

Yes, a field easel is an essential piece of equipment that will make your life a whole lot easier while painting en Plein Air.

Travelling and painting in groups significantly decrease the dangers of negative wildlife encounters.   Wildlife will go to great lengths to avoid large groups of people.

Tuesday 1pm:             Official Start / Group Orientation

Tuesday Aft.                Introduction to Watercolour and En plein air painting

                                      Site exploration – locating subject matter

Wednesday                 Field work: mid morning to mid afternoon with on site

Thursday                     Field Work: mid morning to mid afternoon with on site

Friday                          Field Work am only – followed by group critique/discussion



  • Optional yoga prior to breakfast
  • Journaling and drawing, forest walks 


  • Early evening
    Palette Cleanse social hour with complimentary boreal bites, an opportunity to socialize and interact with all the other art course participants to be inspired and make connections!
  • Optional sauna, camp fire time, storytelling, walks, swimming, etc.

En Plein Air Watercolour Materials List (based on items typically available at Hues Art Supply in Saskatoon):

Palette: Watercolour six space mixing palette (plastic hinged)


  • 1 or 2 #10 wc brushes (Princeton round)
  • 1 or 2 #20 wc brushes (Princeton round)

Paint (5ml -Danielle Smith Colour pallet):

  • French Ultramarine Blue
  • Cerulean Blue
  • Cadmium Lemon
  • Hansa Yellow Light
  • Permanent Alizarin Crimson
  • Quinacridone Rose


  • 2-3 sheets of: 22 x 30 300lb Cold Press (Arches)watercolour paper (paper may be cut or torn to size for most projects)
  • Inexpensive watercolour pad or all-purpose sketch book

Other supplies:

  • 2B pencil(s) & small pencil sharpener
  • small gum eraser
  • 4 -6 large binder clamps
  • 2 -500 ml plastic water containers
  • I large water jug
  • 1-2 old tea towels; roll of paper towel.
  • One large painting board, and or:
  • Cardboard or corrugated cardboard folder approx. 26 x 36 (this could serve as a folder as well as a painting and drawing board)  
  • A field easel
  • A back pack to carry supplies
  • Optional for comfort: small folding chair, table

***Highly recommended:

Sunscreen, bug spray, long sleeve light shirt, long pants, comfortable sneaker type shoes, hat, sunglasses …

It’s choose your own adventure, with options to suit every budget! You can cook all your own meals, pay for lunches only, or get the full meal deal. You can camp with or without power, bunk in with some fellow artists in shared accommodation, or rent a private cabin. 

Full Details on our Food & Accommodation Options can be found on the main forestART page or when you go to register!

Are you joining us??

 We look forward to seeing you in Earth, Sky, & Water with Alison Montgomery!

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