PleinAir Magazine Jun/Jul 2015

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

Being a very social gentleman, John Singer Sargent enjoyed holidays in Europe and the United States with family members and artist friends. However, he never completely relaxed on those trips; he was constantly making oil and watercolor paintings of his companions and the surrounding landscape. In this watercolor created in the Alps near the border between Italy and Switzerland, Sargent included the Italian landscape painter Ambrogio Raffele, whom he met on a similar trip in 1904. Sargent did several other paintings of Raffele outdoors and in a bedroom, and he created a watercolor portrait of his Italian friend holding the door to his studio.…

4 min
plein air painters, unite

It’s official. The Plein Air Force campaign I’ve spoken about over the past year has finally been launched, and I’m proud to say that more than 700 painters raised their hands for a mass swear-in ceremony during our April Plein Air Convention & Expo in Monterey. Since that time I’ve received e-mails and photos of swearing-in ceremonies from all around the country. In case you missed it, my goal is to help others find the lifestyle of plein air painting. To help them experience the joys of being creative by painting, help them out with a great excuse to be outdoors and an excuse to travel, and, of course, introduce them to the wonderful social aspects of making friends around the world who paint. It’s not about creating more professionals, though…

2 min
painting is mental & physical

“Baseball is 90 percent mental, and the other half is physical,” said Yogi Berra. He might have said the same about painting, because there is an uncertain balance between the intellectual and emotional aspects of the process, and many artists believe thinking is just as important as the act of moving paint with a brush. That became more apparent to me over the past year as I spent extra time analyzing my own plein air paintings and aiming to make improvements. I made a decision to devote more time to painting rather than other activities, recognizing that my decision would impact others, as well as my income. I did so because I wanted to make substantial progress as a painter and to be recognized as an artist, not just a writer…

1 min
sir winston churchill (1874-1965)

In 1921, Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill published the first of what became a series of articles extolling the therapeutic and expressive power of painting from nature. In 1947, those writings were edited to become the contents of a book, Painting as a Pastime. By then the former prime minister was one of the most admired and distinguished men in the world, so it was no surprise that the book became an instant success. It has remained in print ever since and can be credited with bringing about the rise in interest in painting as recreation, especially among men who previously thought it was an activity more appropriate for women. Churchill first took up painting in 1915 to relieve his deep depression after a military and political failure. “Painting is complete as a…

3 min
seascapes, coastal scenes, rivers & streams

Water use and management impact the environment, the economy, and international politics, but in the hands of plein air painters, water is a more personal and expressive subject. Bodies of water and airborne moisture afford artists the opportunity to explore layers of transparency, reflection, atmosphere, and motion. Moreover, the subject can tempt painters to question the boundaries between land and sky, the balance of solid and fluid shapes, and the creation of forms that are both assertive and illusive. Here are examples of how a number of artists explore those subjects. John David Wissler “I am challenged to use what I have observed, take it to my studio, and create a new painting,” says Pennsylvania artist John David Wissler. “Using memory of place and experience — the language I have learned from…

8 min
susan blackwood the best of both worlds

ARTIST DATA NAME: Susan Blackwood LOCATION: Bozeman, MT INFLUENCES: “Every artist that I have studied and/or studied with has become a part of me, plus Rembrandt, Rosa Bonheur, J.W. Waterhouse, Antonio Mancini, John Singer Sargent, Joaquín Sorolla, David Swartwout, Robert Wade, Howard Friedland, Carolyn Anderson, Karen Vance, Matt Smith, Quang Ho, and Morgan Weistling.” WEBSITE: There’s a very good reason for the evidence of a watercolorist’s approach to the application of paint in Susan Blackwood’s oil landscapes: She was a watercolorist for 32 years, and along the way she won many awards and had a great deal of success. Prints of her work helped create an international pool of collectors. But in 1998 she married an oil painter, Howard Friedland, and her proximity to this other medium made Blackwood want to delve into that world.…