PleinAir Magazine October - November 2016

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

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the angels that visited Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) when he was most discouraged would whisper in our ears as we compete in a quick draw event? When the pressure mounts to create a strong, award-winning painting in two hours or less, we hear words of encouragement from one Fantin-Latour angel as she places a consoling arm on our shoulder and whispers helpful suggestions. A sense of being at peace comes over us as another angel moves toward us with a palm frond in her left hand, and our spirits are lifted as the third angel floats above our easel and guides us toward beauty. Unfortunately, it is unlikely these benevolent figures will appear during our hours of need. The most we can hope for is a clear…

3 min
the movement that is changing the art world

Early on, plein air pioneers in Europe broke new ground, among them great painters like Constable, Corot, and later, Monet and friends. In America, the plein air movement continued, with painters like Weir, Robinson, Redfeld, Metcalf, and Hassam, who brought the movement to the East Coast (though the Hudson River School painters did some painting on location.) Later, painters like Wachtel, Clark, Rose, Bischoff, Payne, Wendt, and Redmond created a movement in the West. Sadly, plein air painting went somewhat dormant, and few continued to paint outdoors in America. It wasn’t until decades later that a new set of pioneers starting going back outdoors. When I came on the scene in 2004, instead of a handful of plein air painters, there were probably a couple of hundred or so, and, thanks to…

3 min
subject matter & emotional responses

When interviewed for articles in this magazine, plein air artists can quickly list the types of locations, weather patterns, and lighting conditions that most appeal to them. However, they are often hard-pressed to say exactly how they record their emotional response to those sites. That’s because in most cases their feelings about the place only become apparent as they push, scrape, brush, and wipe paint around on the surface of the paper, board, or canvas. “With scratchy marks, many indistinct outlines, and colors that look as though they were applied and scraped off and reapplied in layers, Don Bishop’s work summons the haze of summer and the humidity of oppressive weather,” writes Bob Bahr in his profile of the Oregon artist. “The broken color allows complexity and texture. ‘It is a…

1 min
leconte stewart (1891-1990)

In the article on George Handrahan in this issue (see page 54), the Utah artist credits LeConte Stewart (1891-1990) with helping him focus his approach to plein air painting. He also quotes Stewart’s critical comments about painting techniques that rely on loose, gestured applications of oil colors. Stewart encouraged artists to instead carefully calculate the hue, intensity, and value of the color mixtures they use, and he wanted them to apply those mixtures with a controlled brush. Stewart offered that kind of instruction in the studio and out on location, as he likely did when this photograph was taken before his retirement in 1956 from the University of Utah. Those students appreciated his detailed instructions and insightful criticisms, and his classes were among the most popular in the art department at…

3 min
shoreline portfolio

Artists have long been captivated by the rhythm of oceans slowly meeting sand, the dramatic plumes of white crashing against boulders, the relaxing calm of sandy beaches, the acrophobic feeling of standing on a high sand dune, or the mesmerizing light crossing a lake. John Marin (1870-1953) responded with abstract patterns of lines and shapes; William Trost Richards (1833-1905) painted every detail of the water reaching Newport, Rhode Island; and Winslow Homer (1836-1910) suggested the threatening power of ocean waves. Clearly such shoreline landscapes, whether at the edge of a pond or the Pacific Ocean, were just as much a source of inspiration for artists of the past as they are for painters today. Here is a sample of paintings in oil, watercolor, and pastel by contemporary artists who gather most of…

8 min
rita pacheco color notes & collecting information for the studio

ARTIST DATA NAME: Rita Pacheco BIRTHDATE: 1964 LOCATION: Long Beach, CA INFLUENCES: “To name a very few: Sorolla, Fechin, Sargent, Wendt — but mostly life itself, which is a beautiful gift!” WEBSITE: California painter Rita Pacheco loves painting outside, but it doesn’t bother her if the piece she completes en plein air doesn’t meet her standards for exhibiting or selling. Even if it doesn’t lead to a more successful studio piece, it is worth it. The artist is always interested in learning and studying light, color, varying shapes, and how they can be used to create a compelling composition. Pacheco enjoys success on the plein air circuit and is a member of several prestigious art organizations, but she remembers her journey. Her first stop was an emphasis on good drawing — a fine way to start,…