Art & Architecture
PleinAir Magazine

PleinAir Magazine December 2014 - January 2015

Get PleinAir Magazine digital magazine subscription today and follow tens-of-thousands of artists and collectors who have joined a new plein air movement. Rooted in deep history each quarterly issue, edited by Cherie Haas, chronicles today’s master artists, their techniques, events and the collectors who follow them as well as the historic artists who came before them.

United States
Streamline Publishing
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6 Issues

In this issue

1 min.
plein air heritage william blair bruce (1859-1906)

When Canadian artist William Blair Bruce died prematurely at the age of 47, his widow, Caroline Benedicks Bruce (1833-1927), donated a collection of his paintings on the promise that the city of Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada would establish an art gallery in which the work could be exhibited. That gallery, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, recently celebrated its centennial with a major retrospective of Bruce’s work. A catalogue for that exhibition has been published by D. Giles Ltd in association with the Art Gallery of Hamilton (www.gilesltd.com). Bruce painted in all the locations in France where the Impressionists worked at the end of the 19th century, including Barbizon, Giverny, Grez, and Gotland. He often used his wife as the subject of his plein air and studio pictures, including this painting, which…

3 min.
can plein air be defined?

A recent online discussion asked, “What is plein air?” The question raised a lot of issues, opinions, and even a heated and passionate discussion about what it is and what it is not. It was clear, like a no-win political discussion between opposing parties, that there was no clear answer. For every response, there was a debate from someone with a different opinion. For instance, some said a plein air painting is not pure unless the painting has been executed fully outdoors in one session, with no touch-up work on it in the studio afterward. Others felt it must be one single painting session, and that taking the painting to the same spot multiple times is unacceptable. Still others said a painting done from a plein air study in studio does…

2 min.
knowing when to be slow & steady

When I was being seriously considered for the job of editor-in-chief of American Artist magazine in the fall of 1978, I spent an entire day being interviewed and tested by a psychologist. He administered the usual tests to help determine how I might actually perform on the job, and then he asked me to squeeze a rubber ball to push water up a vertical tube. In my first effort, I applied maximum force on the ball and the water rose only a few centimeters. I thought about the challenge for a minute, and then squeezed the ball again with a slow, steady pressure. That time the water rose to the top of the tube. I think about that test when I am painting outdoors. When I first attempted to paint directly…

1 min.
caroline benedicks bruce (1833-1927)

The wealthy Swedish artist Caroline Benedicks met the Canadian artist William Blair Bruce in June 1885, became engaged to him within four months, and married him in Stockholm in 1888. That union didn’t hamper her ability to continue an active career fabricating sculptures as well as drawing and painting outdoors. In this photograph from around 1885, she is intently focused on a landscape scene and is using a stick or charcoal or pastel to record her response. After her husband died, Benedicks Bruce agreed to give a large collection of his work to the City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, with the understanding that a gallery would be established in which to exhibit that work. The Art Gallery of Hamilton was indeed founded and Bruce’s paintings were presented there in an inaugural…

9 min.
painting directly from nature

Marc Dalessio: Two Ideas With Historic Precedents One of the most significant aspects of Marc Dalessio’s (www.marcdalessio.com) procedures outdoors is using the sight-size method for drawing and laying in the big shapes of a landscape composition. The method, historically important in portraiture, involves making decisions about scale, placement, and detail from a measured distance away from the painting surface. That is, Dalessio marks a spot about 10 feet away from his easel and stands there to evaluate how to make the next mark on his canvas. The intended result is that the painting and the subject will appear to be exactly the same size from the marked location. The process involves walking back and forth from the canvas to the marked position each time the artist needs to draw a line or…

7 min.
speaking through our paintings

ARTIST DATA NAME: Joseph Paquet BIRTHDATE: 1962 LOCATION: St. Paul, MN INFLUENCES:“Michelangelo, Corot, Levitan, Hopper, Bellows, Clyde Aspevig, John Phillip Osborne, Marc Dalessio, T. Allen Lawson, Don Demers, Joseph McGurl, Randall Sexton, Daniel Sprick, John Cosby, Matt Smith, and Jeff Weaver.” WEBSITE: www.joepaquet.com Everyone in the audience at the 2013 Plein Air Convention & Expo was prompted to look deeply within to confront their “authentic selves.” The speaker was Joseph Paquet, a master artist and teacher, a member of the Plein-Air Painters of America, and the recipient of many awards and accolades. His purpose was to challenge attendees, and the greater art community, to create artwork that is an honest reflection of their individuality. Moreover, he wanted to encourage painters to remain students of art and committed to learning. Paquet certainly practices what he preaches: He is…