plein air painting

Plein Air: Paint Outside!

plein air painting Why would I scramble over rock piles with my paint utensils strapped to my back at temperatures in the 30s instead of painting in the comfort of my studio?


Maybe you have heard of “Plein Air” Painting, a movement started by the French impressionists a hundredsome years ago. In the last decade, this movement has internationally gained momentum again, and there is a reason. Apart from the love of the outdoors, the adventure and the challenge, I assure you! :)

Do you know the feeling when you try to capture a breathtaking panorama with your camera, and to your disappointment the result is far less spectacular looking than the view you are actually looking at? Those moody looking blue mountains that line the horizon in beautiful shades of purple are barely even visible in the photo. Either the foreground is a dark lump, or the sky turns into a white out. And it never, never, captures the unique atmosphere of that moment. That’s because Photos lie: not only will the lens focus on simply everything in its visor, but also crank up the contrasts too high. Depending on the algorithm you are always losing more or less of the the mid tones.
A photo is a great reference, but it can never replace the judgement of the artist on location, pondering which colors to use, how best to capture the light of the moment, which glows to enhance or dim down.

And of course, there are a few other decisions best to be made right in the spot. Nobody would need that big traffic sign square in the middle of the beautiful panorama. The casita in the picture has also seen better times, and the jumble of bushes in the foreground just takes away from the actual subject. This is where the artist comes in, edits the components and changes the composition. This also allows for far better judgement with the wind in the face and the panorama lined up in 3D.

Plein Air painting means being subject to the elements of nature, from mosquitos to high winds (better be sure that easel is weighed down properly!) to rain and thunder, encounters with wildlife, sunburns and frozen finger tips. It’s meditative and overwhelmingly hectic at the same time, as decisions need to be taken before the shadows creep into another position. Yet, a morning alone on the rocks with only birds as audience, throwing color on the panel to capture the moment while chasing the ever changing light brings a satisfaction, that no studio session can replace.
It reminds me of a Japanese tea ceremony saying: Ichi Go, Ichi E – ‘a once in a lifetime encounter’, or ‘Every moment only exists once in time, be sure not to miss the one present to you right now’.

Sedona sundown Ans TaylorLearning from the masters in red rock country Sedona

After two freezing cold days of rain and wind (the hazards of a plein air painting workshop!), finally a gorgeous sundown in plein air paradise Sedona. It’s hard to top the breathtaking beauty of the last light on the glowing red rocks of this Arizona gem! What a joy to try and capture that light! (Plein Air Workshop with Bill Cramer)





plein air at watson lake

30 degrees and still painting

Capturing the beauties of famous Watson Lake in Prescott, AZ on a brisk November morning.


Cactus Queen2 by Ans Taylor

We have a winner!!

Cactus Queen2 by Ans TaylorWe have a lucky winner!!!! By signing up to my newsletter you all had a chance to win this nifty, archival quality Xposer Print of the Cactus Queen 2 (shown here is the framed original oil painting).
Watch the video to see the price and drawing of my Artist Studio Tour  Free Art Print Giveaway.  – I know I’m not a movie star, in spite of having Arnie’s accent… :)
Congratulations, to Heather I think! I had trouble deciphering the name, but I should be good on the email and contacted you already in person (I cannot disclose the full email online, but if your email starts with ‘hnels…’ then: Congratulations to you!).

If you think I should offer another giveaway, let me know what would excite you!



thank you for visiting me at Artist Studio Tour Prescott

Thank you! :)

thank you for visiting me at Artist Studio Tour PrescottI wanted to say a big thank you to every one of you who came by and made this show a success! I appreciate that you took the time to swing by and look at my art, and I had so many inspiring chats about art and artists! Thank you to all my supporters who took a piece of my art home with them, from painting to stretched print to art card- I’m glad you liked it so much that you spent some hard earned money on it – I know exactly how difficult it is to decide, between all the beautiful art out there! :D

I hope to see you around for the next show, or in my little studio in the pines! If you’re in the area and you’d like to see where I paint, contact me and we can see what time works!

Tomorrow we’ll have the drawing for the art print giveaway, so stay tuned! 🙂

Exhibit Ans Taylor Prescott Studio Tour 2018

Artist Studio Tour Prescott in full swing!

Come by this weekend and join me at the Mountain Artist Guild, 228 N Alarcon, downstairs, for the yearly Artist Studio Tour! I have giveaways, painting demos, fine art and snacks, brochures and tips to see the other artists of the tour! There’s 14 arists in and about this building, and a total of 100 around town!

Come by for a chat and see my paintings live and in color ;) Daily 10 am to 4pm!
Don’t forget to enter the free giveaway – you can do that also here, online – until Sunday 4 PM! Drawing is on Tuesday!

You can win this Cactus Queen print!

Join the Prescott Artist Studio Tour online by taking part in the raffle!

If we are connected on social media you might have noticed that I have been preparing for Prescott’s biggest yearly art event: the Artist Studio Tour 2018. There will be lots of new art pieces, live painting demos, snacks, music and sangria – and a raffle for a brand new Xposer print!

And this is where you can join in the fun, even if you live in another state: just join my mailing list (enter your email address in the popup here: Ans Print Shop) for your chance to win the 16×20 Cactus Queen art print!

As a courtesy to my loyal clients who are already on my list: you can enter simply by replying “I’m in!’ to and you’ll be in the draw! :)

Deadline for the raffle is October 7, 4pm. The winner be determined by on Tuesday, October 9th.

(If you’d like to give a friend of yours a chance to enter the raffle and get an extra entry yourself tell them to join my mailing list at to take part. There’s a pop up asking for the email – every entry between now and the deadline is in).

An Xposer print is a new and contemporary way to display your wall art: It’s a satin finished photo print (see photo on top) that comes with a light aluminum structure on the back (see photo below). Its easy to click the print into the mount – the result looks like a picture floating about an inch off the wall. Pretty neat!


Need an instant Art Panel Wall?

Hey everyone,

I’ve been busy preparing for the Artist Studio Tour Prescott coming up in October, and I ran across this ingenious recipe that I wanted to share with you. This is for the artists among you, and all the DIY fans. Wall space is notoriously tight at many shows – and in the case of my upcoming event, it comes with extra assets not conductive to hanging pictures (shelves, clocks, mirrors).  The other item being somewhat tight before exhibitions is usually the artist’s budget, as all means are being poured into extra art supplies, frames, marketing, prints, and the like.
So I roamed the internet and found a solution from this creative lady .

With the help of my (far more gifted at anything to do with handiwork) husband I collected 3 light screen doors, 3 outdoor carpets, 4  door hinges and 6 rubber bumpers, and went to work to create Pro Panels to display my canvas art prints!
It took about 3 hours total, and it’s definitely a two-man job. But the result looks quite respectable, what do you think? I hung up several canvas prints and one Xposer print, to test the finished panel, and I was pretty happy.

By the way, do you see the print with the delightful lady and the cactus flower hair-do in the Phoenix desert environment (Cactus Queen2, to the right) ? That’s the brand new 16×20 Xposer print which will be the raffle price at the Artist Studio Tour (October 5-7, Mountain Artist Guild, downstairs). More about that soon – you can also enter the free giveaway online!
Write or comment if you have questions!

interview ans taylor voyage phoenix

Interview on Voyage Phoenix!

interview ans taylor voyage phoenix

Interview on Voyage Phoenix

Hi friends,

the online magazine Voyage Phoenix did an interview with me. Have a look and tell me what you think!
They had formerly come across the Cactus Queen painting on my social media, and shared it on their site. I’m very pleased and humbled they took the interest to follow up with an interview afterwards. It’s great to see the way this magazine is supporting local creatives!
Enjoy the read, and don’t forget to give me your feedback afterwards :)

Interview on Voyage Phoenix

traveling germany and tirol

Traveling Europe! June 19-July 8

Friends! I’ll be traveling Germany and Austria for the next couple weeks to visit my family and friends 💚 Check in with me on Instagram or Facebook if you enjoy pictures of crooked old houses, vineyards, alpine mountains and the occasional sketch on the road. I’ll share a bunch in my IG stories (aka just click my profile pic to see what’s new).

Also, no orders from my shop can be processed until July 10. Please take that into account if you plan to order anything. Thank you for your patience!

traveling germany and tirol

traveling germany and tirol

heat treatment hamon Dawson knives

The Daily Grind: Dawson Knives Open House Press Release

Dawson Knives oil painting Barry DawsonHi everybody, here is the Press Release about my setup at the yearly Open House Show of Dawson Knives – have a read and take a look at their amazing and artfully 100% handmade blades:

‘The Daily Grind’:
New local artist depicting 3rd generation Prescott Valley knife craftsmen, celebrating American workmanship in oil.

For their yearly Open House Show the family owned knife artisans are now objects of visual art themselves: Painter Ans Taylor has been watching their work process and pictured it in oil on canvas.

Ans Taylor came to Prescott in 2017, taking the long route from Germany with her US military husband Tim. The Army took them from Europe to the US, then to Japan, and finally to Arizona, where they chose their forever home in Prescott.

Tim Taylor followed his dream and pursued a second career with the renowned custom blade crafters ‘Dawson Knives’. The family business around founder and Vietnam vet Barry Dawson has been operating out of their shop in Prescott Valley for the third generation. Their thoughtfully designed and carefully hand made products are pieces of art in themselves.

Getting acquainted with the work ethics and craftsmanship of these local artisans, Ans felt inspired to paint some scenes of their ‘daily grind’ in oil on canvas. She will be displaying her art at the yearly Open House Event of Dawson knives on Saturday May 19, complementing the program of sword cutting demonstrations and shop tours with a live oil painting demo.

Ans is compelled by the diverse people, wildlife and landscapes of Arizona, and wants to share her fascination with her paintings.

Link: visit Dawson Knives :)heat treatment hamon Dawson knives


countercultural oil portrait by ans taylor

Countercultural II

Countercultural II

This is part two of ‘Countercultural’, and it goes with this delightful quote I found: 

countercultural 2 christian art

countercultural oil portrait by Ans Taylor

Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that’s a tough call. That’s real rebellion.
Alice Cooper

If you’d like to know more about ‘Countercultural’ have a look at this blog post

or read below:


When tolerance is not linked to a widely agreed-upon ethical structure – we tolerate those who disagree with that structure – but is untethered to any structure, it becomes the supreme good, and soon becomes astonishingly intolerant of those who disagree with this new tolerance. 

D.A. Carson 

In ‘Countercultural’ I wanted to depict an honest spirituality and the personal dialogue with a God that is no longer acceptable in our mainstream culture. In an age without objective truths or absolute authorities, the concept of an universal good or evil fades into ‘personal preferences’. Everything goes – except saying that not everything goes. 

Having become a Christian quite unexpectedly at age 40 it seemed no one would have been more surprised than me. But soon I discovered my search for truth in an ‘organized and outdated religion’ instead of choosing any hip fareastern-western ‘bake your own God’ mix reaped harsh criticism from many secular friends.  

Moreover, my distasteful new habit of not putting God in a convenient corner to be dusted off once a week, earned skepticism even from some Christian acquaintances. 

Weren’t us artists traditionally the ones provoking thought and discussion? So here’s a new ‘rebellion’: I painted a real Christian – not one paying lip service or using the name  for political reasons – in all her beauty caused by grace and peace coming from a deep well. 

(Note: This is the text to Zoey, modeling for CC1 – and all her grace and beauty. Since CC2 is a selfie, I don’t want to assume I’m all that grace-soaked quite yet….)



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