PleinAir Magazine October/November 2019

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

An invitation to join the first formal expedition to Yellowstone in 1871 set English-born Thomas Moran (1837–1926) on the unlikely path to becoming one of the best-known names in Western American art. His paintings documenting the geological wonders of the area earned him a spot on John Wesley Powell’s third exploratory trip to the Grand Canyon just two years later. Traveling by boat down the Colorado River, Moran worked furiously every time Powell’s troop pulled ashore to rest, making sketches of the magnificent scenery that he would later turn into more formal, polished paintings back in his studio. Of the Grand Canyon, the artist said, “It was by far the most awfully grand and impressive scene that I have ever yet seen.” In this view of Zoroaster Peak, now known as Zoroaster…

4 min
creating disneyland for plein air painters

You need to be ready to give up painting; you’re about to be the father of triplets. Plus, I can’t have the smell of paint in the house.” My wife’s words ring in my head to this day. They were like a knife cutting through my very being. Giving up painting was not an option. Still, I had to get the paint out of the back bedroom, even out of the garage, so I came up with the idea of going outside to work. I dragged a studio easel, a chair, a card table, a bunch of supplies, and a big stretched canvas, and set up on the edge of the golf course. This was my first experience in outdoor painting, which I later learned was called plein air painting. My first…

3 min
the power of art

Anyone who has stood before a painting or sculpture and felt a pang of longing, fear, or sadness; a rush of happiness or wonder; or experienced new insight into the human condition knows the power of art. But artwork can do so much more than impact how we think or feel; it can compel us to action. In this issue, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Grand Canyon National Park. We start by taking a closer look at one of Thomas Moran’s Grand Canyon paintings in our Heritage column. Not only did Moran leave us an incredible legacy of artwork and an appreciation for the ideals of plein air painting, he helped pave the way for the conservation of this country’s natural wonders and the institution of our national park…

5 min
creating art and community

The history of Laguna Beach and the legacy of plein air painting perfectly intertwine. In the 1800s, artists descended on the area to capture its picturesque landscape and the famous California light so coveted by outdoor painters. Established as an art colony around 1903, Laguna Beach saw its first art gallery, later to become the Laguna Beach Art Museum, opened by William Wendt, Edgar Payne, Anna Hills, and Frank Cuprien. These artists also exhibited their works together on the beaches of Laguna, marking the origin of the Festival of Arts. Today, the festival takes place in midtown Laguna Beach, and streets like Cuprien Way and Wendt Terrace remind locals of their community’s artistic heritage. Founded in 1996 by five passionate plein air painters and advocates — Saim Caglayan, John Cosby, Ken…

2 min
forgotten coast en plein air

Artistic excellence and the production of investment quality art continues to be the trademark of the 10-day Forgotten Coast en Plein Air festival. Organizers continue to hone what makes the Forgotten Coast event exceptional. March of 2020 will focus on the people and cultures of the Forgotten Coast, emphasizing storytelling, entertainment, rich history and traditions, and the local occupations that make this area so unique. It’s the people who make the Forgotten Coast unforgettable and provide inspiration for this year’s plein air paintings. The region’s rich culture and heritage will be celebrated with brush and canvas. The invitational features twenty internationally acclaimed artists, as well as “Florida’s Finest en Plein Air” artists honored as Plein Air Ambassadors. Expanded exhibits, a Collectors’ Forum, lectures by distinguished guest speakers, demonstrations, workshops and opportunities for…

3 min

Using the observational skills he had acquired from years of painting outdoors, James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) launched a series of night paintings created from memory. To veil the ugliness of industrial London, he arranged a boat to view the city from the Thames after dark, then completed the paintings back in his studio. Moving away from the realism that dominated his earlier works, the artist reduced his colors to a few delicate tonal harmonies. Originally, he called these pieces “moonlights,” but an imaginative patron suggested the musical term “nocturnes” instead. The artist agreed, saying the name “does so poetically say all that I want it to say and no more than I wish.” In the pages that follow, 17 audacious artists embrace the challenge of painting in the dark to reveal…