PleinAir Magazine Plein Air Force Veterans Squad
Watch this video where Dennis Tyson talks about how learning to paint plein air changed his life for the better
Show our gratitude to veterans by teaching them painting, allowing them to enjoy the benefits and stress reduction that come with painting outdoors. 

Enlist plein air painters from around America to visit veterans’ groups to get vets excited about plein air painting, then do a demo and offer some free lessons. 
Register with Dennis Tyson, Commander of the Veterans Squad, so he can record activities and follow up to hear about successes and failures and how we can help.
Recommended Program
Speaking framework:
  • Introduce yourself — who you are, how you discovered painting
  • You are here because there are a lot of artists who care about vets, and they have orchestrated a national program
  • Why painting may be beneficial for students/vets:
  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Use of creativity
  • A new purpose
  • Stress reduction (you can’t paint and be stressed)
  • Talk about outdoor painting benefits
  • You get to be in nature
  • Continual new challenges
  • Makes you a better painter
  • Social connections
  • You can create beauty out of anything
  • Play documentary about plein air painting (free at
  • Do painting demonstration (take them outside)
  • If possible, arrange for veterans to try painting themselves (bring friends with easels and supplies). Help them create a small, meaningful first painting.
  • Offer free painting lessons (time/date/location). Suggested is one class per week. (Please do not try to sell lessons unless you are asked.)
  • Hand out guide to plein air painting that highlights materials, etc. Free print-out from PleinAir Magazine on
  • Hand out copies of PleinAir Magazine. (We need three weeks’ notice to send them regular mail. May not be current issues, may not all be the same issue. Let us know quantity and address.)
  • Point veterans to, which has free video art lessons and guides.
Where do you find a veterans’ group?

Most organizations that serve veterans have been looking for someone just like you.
  • Ask Facebook friends: you may become overwhelmed by the number of people inquiring
  • Contact your county Veterans Affairs Office. (Mine is listed as Barry County Veterans Affairs.) They will be so pleased to hear from you, so don’t be shy. They will know who would really benefit and who would be most likely to give it a go. They will make the contacts and then direct them to you if there is interest.
  • Contact your local United Way office
  • Contact Team Red White and Blue
  •  Contact Team Rubicon
My plan is to do a once-a-week class with a veterans’ group in my community.

Follow a simple curriculum (make up your own or follow ours). Paint small.
  • Use of materials
  • Start with a black and white value painting
  • Color mixing
  • Full-color simple landscape
  • Shapes with light/shadow (cubes, blocks)
  • Get students outdoors as soon as possible
Gather Materials
The guiding principle is that we don’t want cost to prevent any veteran from participating. We recommend asking friends in your arts community to donate extra supplies. You might get a local art store to help. At the same time, we should ask them to pay something as not doing so may be offensive. Many veterans have a tremendous amount of pride, and so they should. 
Share Activities on Social Media
Share photos on Facebook. Do not shoot or post photos without permission, please. Privacy is an issue, and some veterans may not wish to be highlighted. You can post photos that do not show faces. If you can, do group photos showing the vets with their successful paintings. 
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