Friday, May 23, 2008

Plein Air Painting

When artists go outside and paint the outdoors by standing at their easel with their paints or pastels and looking at the landscape or scenery, it is called "en plein air" (in the open air) painting. There are many groups around the world that are formed by members who are artists who enjoy the benefits of working from life outdoors.
You have to be quick. The light changes very fast. Just like - you wouldn't expect to take great photos at noon - the sun and lack of shadows leave a lot to be desired in the contrast area, the same goes for the views you are painting. You also need to paint small, because you have to get the view down quickly and the other, sometimes the wind comes up. Can't you just see the artist flying through "en plein air"? You could here - most days!
One of my artist friends in Downs, Gary Ozias, paints outdoors a lot. He promises to call me soon, so a bunch of us can get together some day and together "attack" the countryside. At our monthly MAPS meeting in KC this month, he will give a presentation on the subject. He IS "Mr. Plein Air". Another painter I admire is Montana artist, Deb Schmit, who some days paints with her friends and colleagues "en plein air".
While reading some of the posts on Charley Parker's lines and colors blog, I came across an artist, Daniel Hauben, who paints on the streets of the Bronx. I hope you will read about his experience when painting a Superette. I got such a laugh from it.
How many of you practice your art "en plein air"?

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