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PleinAir Magazine

PleinAir Magazine August - September 2014

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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.

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United States
Streamline Publishing
$7.74(Incl. tax)
$41.31(Incl. tax)
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
plein air heritage

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Impressionist painters helped to stimulate international interest in plein air painting, especially in American vacation spots in Indiana, California, New York, and Massachusetts. The shoreline communities on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, became so popular with outdoor painters that in 1916 Herman H. Wessel (1878-1969) observed that there were more than 700 artists working in Gloucester. “I went to Bass Rock beach, and there were more artists there at work than bathers in or out of the water,” Wessel wrote to his friend Edward H. Potthast. Potthast made this unfinished watercolor sketch of a fellow painter during one of his many visits to the beach in Gloucester. He always welcomed the opportunity to escape the summer heat in New York, meet hometown friends from Cincinnati,…

3 min.
why plein air painting is the new golf

A funny thing happens when you reach your 50s or 60s. You realize you’ve spent your life working, and suddenly you’re interested in exploring your creative side. For some, it’s photography, woodworking, or jewelry-making. For me, it’s painting. Many of my friends have reached that point in their lives where they want to see the world, spend more time with friends and less time working, get outdoors as much as possible, and use the creative side that has been on hold for most of their careers. Some are retired, others are simply taking more personal time. And many, even those who have been lifelong golfers, don’t see their future spending more time on the greens. I’ve suggested before that plein air painting is the “new golf.” Yet it provides so much more. Think…

2 min.
finding your style

The company I worked for in the 1990s conducted research to determine the topics that artists would most like to read about in art magazines and books. Drawing always came out near the top of the list, along with color mixing and the techniques used by popular artists who worked in oil, watercolor, and pastel. But one surprising topic suggested by the respondents was style, or an identifiable look that distinguishes an artist’s paintings. The editors at the company scratched their heads to determine exactly what information could fill a six-page article or a 144-page book on the elusive subject of personal style. We weren’t sure how to show people a method to discover their own voices. Did the survey respondents want to know how to paint in a historically significant…

1 min.
rex brandt (1914-2000)

A current exhibition at the Laguna Art Museum in California reminds us of the plein air watercolor painters who taught generations of artists through their workshops, classes, books, and videos. Among the most influential of those artists was Rex Brandt, a California native whose painting style was strongly influenced by the abstract artist Hans Hofmann (1880-1966). Brandt studied with two of Hofmann’s protégés and developed a way of painting directly from nature that blended the energy of abstract expressionism with the specificity of realism. Rex Brandt: In Praise of Sunshine is currently on view at the Laguna Art Museum (until September 21, 2014) and includes approximately 50 of the artist’s paintings. The show is accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue. The title of the exhibition comes from one of Brandt’s…

1 min.
painting outdoor still lifes

In this issue we offer a sampling of still life paintings that artists created outdoors, facing the same challenges — and opportunities — associated with painting any other subject outdoors. The experience gave these painters a different perception of values, colors, shapes, and edges, and it required them to make quick decisions about how to record those perceptions on canvas or paper. Outdoor Still Life is one of the categories of awards in the PleinAir Salon bimonthly competition (www.pleinairsalon.com). If you also paint still lifes outdoors, enter your work in the next competition and become eligible to compete for the $21,000 in cash and merchandise prizes that will be presented at the Plein Air Convention & Expo in April 2015. M. STEPHEN DOHERTY is editor-in-chief of PleinAir magazine. See more outdoor still life…

6 min.
painting changing light effects

ARTIST DATA NAME: Anne Ward BIRTHDATE: 1967 LOCATION: Los Angeles INFLUENCES: “Fairfield Porter, Vuillard, Diebenkorn, Raimonds Staprans, Wayne Thiebault, and Nikolai Timkov.” WEBSITE: www.anneward.com We see the world by the way it is revealed in light, and we know many of the principles that help us select the right hue, value, and chroma of paint to approximate what the light reveals to us both outdoors and in the studio. Still, we go through a lot of trial and error to arrive at those approximations, and each new painting presents a challenge to find the right color mixtures to convey our observations to those who view our work. Californian Anne Ward has been dealing with that challenge for years and has developed a remarkable ability to create landscapes and still lifes that capture all the subtle shifts in…