PleinAir Magazine Aug/Sep 2018

Get your PleinAir Magazine digital subscription today and join tens of thousands of artists and collectors who have joined a new plein air movement. Rooted in a deep history, each bi-monthly issue, edited by Kelly Kane, chronicles important events and spotlights today’s master artists, their techniques, the collectors who follow them, as well as the historic artists who came before them.

United States
Streamline Publishing
$7.98(Incl. tax)
$42.64(Incl. tax)
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
plein air heritage

Born in England but trained in France, where he spent most of his life, Richard Parkes Bonington (British, 1802–1828) enjoys a place in the history of both British and French art. Characterized by bright color, delicate brushwork, and a fresh naturalism, his landscape paintings often feature river scenes or views of the French coast. For this piece, he painted from the bank of the Seine opposite Rouen, likely in the late summer or autumn of 1825, shortly after returning from London, where he’d been inspired by the work of the great English landscape painters John Constable and J.M.W. Turner. Preferring to paint directly from nature, Bonington had walked away from the École des Beaux-Arts and the tutelage of Antoine-Jean Gros (French, 1771–1835) years before. Although he enjoyed great success in the…

4 min
rethinking plein air events and quality

Emotional, and sometimes heated, thoughts came out at a roundtable discussion about art and art events during my recent Adirondack Publisher’s Invitational. Getting into discussions and learning from one another is one of the benefits of these events, and about 80 of us, in a big circle, chatted for about an hour about how people begin painting, why they keep painting, how they learned, and the learning process in general. Then one of the artists asked, “Why do plein air events exclude so many artists?” I explained that for most events, two or more judges vet the quality of the painters who enter, so people are brought in on the merits of their painting, not their friendships with judges or organizers, or just because they live in the area. One artist asked,…

3 min
the plein air community

The first time I heard of East-point, Florida, I was reading the caption for Nancie King Mertz’s painting Eastpoint Elevated, featured in this issue’s Beaches and Coastlines Plein Air Portfolio. The next time I heard of it, it was on fire. Very quickly after that, Eastpoint dominated my Facebook feed, as I saw plein air painters sharing memories of participating in the Forgotten Coast En Plein Air event that takes place in this section of “Old Florida” every year. Some were simply reaching out to share the tragic news with others; most were spreading word about ways to help. It seems that many of the artists who had been to paint in the area had developed a real attachment to the place (no surprise for a group for whom place is…

1 min
elizabeth adela forbes (1859–1912)

A leading member of the Newlyn School of artists who worked in Cornwall, England, at the end of the 19th century, Elizabeth Adela Forbes painted local subjects full of light and atmosphere — mainly women and children engaged in outdoor leisure activities. Born in Canada, Forbes studied in London, Munich, and New York, with the likes of William Merritt Chase, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and Walter Sickert. Each experience left its mark on her work, but perhaps none more than the time she spent with the artists’ colony at Pont-Aven in Brittany, France, where she developed her passion for plein air painting. In 1885, Forbes established a studio in Newlyn, sharing the building with a local fisherman who stored and repaired nets in the space. Finding a home and endless inspiration in…

5 min
beaches and coastlines

For much of history, the beach roused fear and anxiety in people’s hearts. Synonymous with shipwrecks and natural disasters, the coastal landscape was considered a wild and dangerous place. It wasn’t until about the mid-18th century that wealthy Europeans began to see the beach as a welcoming place of relaxation and recreation. Looking to escape the grime and pollution of industrial urban centers, they embraced the fresh air and restorative powers of the beach. Once considered treacherous and threatening, the coast became a place of leisure, where one could become happily immersed in nature. It’s no wonder, then, that beaches and coastlines have been — and continue to be — such popular painting subjects, especially for those who work en plein air. Inspired by a range of coastal landscapes, from rocky…

11 min
the joy of seeing

Few painters are more revered by their fellow artists than Richard Schmid. In picture after glorious picture, he achieves a kind of “holy grail” of representational painting in which the brushwork is energetic yet sensitive, the color vibrant yet subtle, and the illusion convincing without being labored or overstated. But far more than his considerable technical mastery, it is the sense of sheer joy at looking at and being in the world projected by Schmid’s paintings that engages and captivates the viewer. Painted almost always directly from life, his paintings resonate with his audience as vital and authentic responses to myriad unique situations. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the artist’s landscapes, where we find ourselves taken along on an adventure of looking, seeing, and simply relishing a host of…