PleinAir Magazine December - January 2017

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

In many ways, 19th-century plein air painters were travel reporters, creating images of places that were either the beloved hometowns of their countrymen or unfamiliar, exotic landscapes that were difficult to reach. Frederic E. Church reported on the tropical landscapes of Cuba, Mexico, and South America; British watercolorists documented the architecture of villages and manor homes throughout the United Kingdom; and hundreds of painters recorded timeless scenes of Venice, Italy. Some of those artists were enterprising enough to create and sell prints and large studio paintings from their sketches and plein air studies. Among those was Edward Beyer (1820-1865), who published lithographs as well as moving panoramas for a public eager to know more about the places where the German-born artist set up his easel. In the detail above of Beyer’s lithograph…

4 min
painters who become storytellers and poets

Looking as far back as the 16th century, we find plein air artists who were masters of painting techniques, storytelling, and visual poetry. Their paintings inform and inspire us, as do those by contemporary artists who preserve the tradition. All of us are on a path to grow as painters. Doing it on our own, being self-taught, is for some a badge of courage. Yet I’ve found that no matter how much I learn and discover, there are others who have figured things out that I would never think to explore. That is why great painters of the past were continually seeking new ideas and techniques. My own biggest leaps as a painter come from studying masterpieces of the past and from spending time with contemporary artists who understand something I…

3 min
our handwriting

While demonstrating during the recent Bath County (VA) Plein Air Festival, T.M. Nicholas repeated an oft-spoken observation that artists’ personal style should be as natural as their handwriting. That is, the marks they make with a brush or palette knife should be honest representations of their personalities, training, thoughts, and emotions. The value of knowing a “signature” is that it encourages beginners to see their awkward mark making as an essential stage in their development, and it guides experienced artists toward exploring and celebrating their individual way of handling paint. Still, artists don’t have to be conscious of their own “signature,” and, ironically, it would probably be better if they didn’t think about that while in midst of painting. Instead, they should find the common and characteristic aspects of their paintings…

1 min
antonio lópez garcia (b. 1936)

The renowned Spanish painter Antonio López Garcia began painting large, panoramic plein air views of Madrid in the 1960s and often spent years developing each work. After completing an urban painting, the artist would then return to the same intersection and develop a new painting from a different vantage point. When describing his long, laborious process, the artist explained that one “can pick it up again several months later, when everything coincides again.” He said, “And the same thing over again: you work for a period of time and then stop again, and so on, year after year until you consider it done. This process carries two risks: that the subject might change or that you might change in relationship with it. If these changes are not obstacles to continuing, you…

2 min
national park portfolio

On August 25, 2016, the National Park Service celebrated its 100th anniversary and plein air painters participated by setting up their easels in many of the 58 national parks. They recorded the beauty, grandeur, intimacy, and regional character of locations from Maine to California and from Montana to Florida, sometimes working close to home and other times climbing to great heights with their gear. In this photo essay, we share just a few of the outdoor paintings created during those adventures in the national parks.…

7 min
learning with small plein air paintings

ARTIST DATA NAME: Daniel J. Keys BIRTH YEAR: 1985 LOCATION: Fresno, CA INFLUENCES: “Richard Schmid, Nancy Guzik, Quang Ho.” WEBSITE: Considering that Daniel J. Keys grew up without the opportunity to attend art school, participate in painting workshops, or travel to museums, it is remarkable that he was able to create masterful paintings while still in his 20s. He did that by learning as much he could from books, magazines, and websites, and by drawing and painting whenever possible. Keys started painting at the age of 11 using a set of oil colors purchased with birthday money, and a few years later he discovered the work of Richard Schmid. Keys emulated Schmid’s alla prima approach to oil painting and later had the good fortune to be mentored by the Vermont-based artist. “I spent a lot of time…