Friday, November 16, 2007

What is Plein Air Painting? Define: PLEIN AIR, en plein air, plein air painting, alfresco

Wahkeena Falls
Plein air painting
12x24"oils on cavas
by Michael Orwick

What is Plein Air Painting?

Related phrases: en plein air plein air painting The equivalent term in Italian would be alfresco.

(En) plein air painting - French for "open air" in painting terms refers to the practice of painting out of doors, directly from the subject, rather than in a studio.
Often done quickly or on the spot.

The Plein Air Painter,
Cannon Beach
By Michael Orwick
16x20 Oils on Canvas SOLD
These paintings are usually less detailed and more impressionistic. A relatively recent practice, painting outdoors became an important dimension of the landscape work of the Impressionists and painters of the Barbizon school (I will talk more about the history of both of these styles in the upcoming days). Although plein air painting should not be considered as synonymous with Impressionism or quick sketching, it became central to Impressionism.

See the Plein Air Forum.http://www.wetcanvas./

Open-air artists attempt to capture an immediate impression of what the eye sees, rather than what the viewer knows or feels about the work. They study how light appears on subjects in different weather and at different times of the day, an interest that can be traced back to Realism.

Mt Hood Plein air 8x10" oils on canvas by Michael Orwick 2007 SOLD

They prefer to work outdoors in natural light, rather than in their studio with sketches, and often their art tends to have brilliant colors that almost shimmer in their intensity.
Painting from life is a pursuit unlike any other painting technique.

It challenges artists to concentrate completely on the information in front of them. Their senses absorb it all, from sight to sound, from temperature to atmosphere, and then channel these feelings into their vision in paint on paper or canvas.
Today, painting from life is a pursuit that continues to challenge the finest artists in the world.

Painted during an amazingly educational Kenn Backhaus workshop

There are numerous associations of plein air painters, noteworthy among them being PAPA (Plein Air Painters of America)
Credit for much of the above information is given to the website of the Plein Air Painters of America (PAPA) and to that of the National Academy of Professional Plein Air Painters.

One of the groups I paint and show with
Sites used for this blog entry
Judge Robert Gamblin
& Colors Award Winner
Michael Orwick
Painting Downtown Hillsboro
Hillsboro Plein air Competion 2007

the Gamblin website is amazing.

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