In the fall of 2018 I met Eric Rhoads (Plein Air Magazine and Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine) at a paint-out in Kananaskis. I was inspired by his story about a program called Plein Air Force that was happening in the United States. Veterans who were living with PTSD would experience art therapy through plein air painting (painting in nature).
My personal experiences with plein air painting include a stillness of mind and a connection with nature. Art has the ability to improve psychological health, relieve stress, build confidence, aid emotional release, prevent memory loss, and even promote physical health.
Research around the world continue to show the positive correlation between the practice of art and the degree of health in individuals, and have gathered incredible statistics.
There is something inexplicable about the power of art. My goal with this program is not to develop professional artists. Instead, I hope to provide an opportunity to allow these men and women a chance to reconnect with nature, have some peace and to have a positive experience. My role is in this is to be a guide and facilitator while providing some basic art instruction at no cost to participants.
In order to get my dream off the ground, I have started a "gofundme" page to cover the initial cost of supplies and day trips. I would love to be able to take up to four individuals into nature in one trip. Here is a detailed breakdown of the cost of supplies (per painting bag):
Easel - $375; Tripod - $210; Panels - $18; Paints - $380; Brushes - $160, Palette Knife - $20; Scraper - $7; Brush Carrier - $25; Mineral Spirits - $85; Mineral Spirits Container - $90; Panel Carrier - $95; Paper Towels - $4; Painting Backpack - $250
Total: $1719 per bag
If this is something that you would be interested in supporting, please visit my page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/plein-air-force