Monday, August 11

Plein Air Painting is "In"

Out in the Back
Acrylic on Canvas Panel
11 x 14 in/ 27.9 x 35.6 cm
Copyright Byrne Smith 2014
No pun intended with the title of today's blog, but have you noticed lately that Plein Air painting outdoors has become the "in" thing? Notice I used both a capital "P" and a capital "A."  Well, apparently it has.

Other than the contemporary, avant garde art crowd, who are not likely to pause to give representational painting a look anyway, it appears that Plein Air is the latest and greatest. It appears that way to me anyway.

My un-scientific research, which consists wholly of looking at art blogs and websites online and thumbing through all the art magazines at the newsstand at one of the suburban Barnes & Noble's, declares this to be so. By this I mean, it seems every other website is about the wonders of Plein Air painting and the painters who paint them.

Also, there are more and more ads about Plein Air painting in almost every art magazine including those on pastel and watercolor. I'm sure you're also aware there's a whole magazine devoted to the subject called Plein Air.

Then there are all those Plein Air competitions. They're popping up everywhere! I'm sure someone's making money.

Please don't misinterpret what I'm saying. I really, really like the look of (most) Plein Air paintings, and you already know if you've been reading the blog for a while, I'm a big fan of the Impressionists who did a lot of their work en Plein Air . I suppose it's a throwback to simpler times when painters like Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent (not his portraits, of course) spent a lot of time outdoors painting "real" paintings.

Or maybe everyone's hoping Monet will somehow make an appearance in Monterey, California, at the big, annual Plein Air Expo. Whatever is happening with Plein Air, I hope it's for real and not just a passing fad.

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