All About Plein Air

Feb 9, 2016 | Blog

 –Why Do It?

I was reading the January edition of Plein Air Magazine—no, not just looking at the pictures, I promise, and found that plein air events have grown from 25 events in 2004 to over 350 events by 2015. I’m pretty sure that’s what the analysts call “a trend.” At this point, sprouting up in almost every state, it’s heavy enough to have its own gravitational pull. The fundraising possibilities along with the sales and art exposure to the public for the artists has made it irresistible to one venue after another. From art clubs to civic organizations—you name it—they all want a part of this. In fact, Atlanta, just last year got sucked into this vortex of fun and opportunity. We now host the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational in April. And why do I care? Because I now have to sign up for the Quick Paint portion open to the public. Have to….have no choice because it promises opportunity, growth for me as an artist, and a heck of a challenge. The invited artists have 5 days to paint, but the self-appointed artists have two hours to complete a painting… which will then be juried and judged….need I say more? Not only does that stir up every insecurity a person can have, it forces you to remember why you do art at all—mostly because that’s a much better reference point than wild fears.

I don’t know about you, but I can sense hundreds of related topics from psychological to mechanical – like why would you do this ??? to how many brushes do you need? Informative…certainly for the many who are in the business (there may be improvements to be had here even for the veterans) to those who are considering joining in like me (at the jumping off point—just beginning with plein air.)

I’m doing this for my own grounding but decided on a public forum (blog) so that others could share in the insight. There must be tons of you out there who have made a transition from some other form of creative outlet to this particular expression of your talent. Whether you’re just starting or a veteran of twenty years, please let us learn from your experience. In fact, if you have just worked on a plein air event, your opinion of the benefits of plein air would be valuable as well. You know how and why this works from the inside out. So please join in.  As a reference, here is my first plein air attempt.

Sedona Sky 16x12

I plan to post one question for discussion each week and hope to draw in the generous nature of artists and art promoters.
So here it is, the first round. By the way, I’m open to suggested topics for future weeks! This is meant to serve those who read it, so let me know what you need to know!

So let’s start with the “Why would you do this???”

Week One Forum: From personal experience or observation, how or why would someone (perhaps you) become a plein air artist or plan a plein air event? What do you think is the best reason for doing this? Why is this such a hot trend? Tell us your story. Don’t forget your website URL so we can see who we’re talking to—if you like.

All variations would be helpful including:

1) Marketing advantages that drew you into it
2) Friends that talked you into it
3) Accidentally—how most of life is
4) Interest in the style in relation to Impressionism
5) Ability to benefit your organization
6) Etc. Etc. Etc.