PleinAir Magazine February/March 2021

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

Now considered one of America’s greatest plein air painters, William Merritt Chase (1849–1916) struggled to support his family with sales of the interiors, figures, and still lifes that he was best known for during his lifetime. To augment his income, he would abandon his ornately decorated space in the Tenth Street Studio Building in New York City’s Greenwich Village every summer to paint outdoors with students in parks, gardens, and open fields. In 1891, Jane Ralston Hoyt invited the artist to the Shinnecock Hills on Long Island, where she shared her idea of opening a summer art academy based on the plein air schools then popular in Europe — a strategy devised to promote her own real estate ventures in the area. Thanks in no small part to Chase’s stellar reputation…

3 min
this is our time

Entering 2021 has a huge significance for those of us at PleinAir Magazine. It’s our 10-year anniversary … plus two. So why isn’t it our 12th anniversary, you ask? Well, it’s complicated. When I launched the magazine in 2004, I believed a plein air movement was afoot. Many of you — thousands, in fact — became subscribers. At the time, there were maybe three plein air events and very few workshops. The movement started to gain some steam after that, but not a lot. Art supply vendors said there was not enough money in plein air painting for them to advertise with us. Galleries told us, “No one wants or buys plein air paintings. They want studio paintings.” Though I argued that plein air was just beginning, they did not buy my argument…

2 min
looking back & ahead

“The direct translation of the French term [plein air] is‘in the open air.’Artists, galleries, suppliers, and museums use the term to distinguish paintings created outdoors from those done entirely in a studio. PleinAir Magazine uses the term to signify that we are dealing seriously with the long, honored, important tradition of artists working directly from nature.”— M. Stephen Doherty Spring 2011, PleinAir Magazine Anniversaries are an opportunity to pause and — with the benefit of hindsight — reflect on where you started and how far you’ve come. In this issue, we’re excited to launch a year-long celebration of PleinAir Magazine’s 10th Anniversary. As publisher Eric Rhoads said in his letter, “we are in this together.” And we have been from the start. So many people have been instrumental in bringing the magazine…

3 min
5 steps to more satisfying commissions

Some artists shy away from commissions, perhaps thinking they’ll have to compromise their creativity or deal with picky clients. I’m sure there are some experiences like that, but I love to collaborate with people who are passionate about a place. Like most artists, my goal in each painting is to connect with someone, not only on the aesthetics of the piece, but on a deeper emotional level. I’m currently working on a 40 x 60-inch commission of a river scene. I walked the site with the collector as he told me stories of how he used to “swim in that pool,” “fish this stretch,” and where he stayed with relatives in a nearby cabin. These kinds of details make the scene come alive for me, and I think of them as…

2 min
national parks

In the time before cell phones and digital photography, landscape painters introduced Americans to the spectacular geographical features hidden away in little-explored corners of the country. In doing so, they inspired others to see the beauty and importance of protecting these lands, helping to drive the creation of dozens of national parks. Today, the U.S. National Park System encompasses 423 sites, spanning more than 84 million acres.…

9 min
then & now

To mark the 10th anniversary of PleinAir Magazine, we dipped into our archives and selected five exceptional paintings to admire all over again. And because we don’t believe you can ever have too much of a good thing, we asked the artists to share a current favorite and reflect on the changes they’ve made or experienced over the past decade. GEORGE VAN HOOK Looking for an Honest Response While the last decade has undoubtedly brought change to my work, I’m certain that it has been an incremental process. Each day I’m faced with the same question, “How can I honestly address the feelings and impressions of the moment?” And, of course, layered on top of that is the question of how these impressions fit into the continuity of my body of work. So,…