Have recently taken up and enjoying this way of painting. To be able to get away from the stress of everyday life, enjoying the wonderful world we live in and at the same time doing what I enjoy, what more could one ask for?
Visiting places never been before, travelling to another country and painting and meeting 'new' friends - what life could be better?
Am told if one produces 1-2 'happy with' paintings out of ten undertaken plein air, then this is the norm, and I can certainly agree with that.
Many times, artists take their paintings home to complete or perhaps, undertake a larger studio painting from their original small plein air study.
Yes, there are failures and ones not happy with - quite a few in fact. When this happens, all is not lost as those not able to be 'saved' can be wiped off and when paint is dry, another over top. Wiping a painting off at first was quite disheartening. However, after becoming used to painting outside on location, understood this is sometimes part of the process.
Thoroughly enjoying this way of painting, although the only thing not so enjoyable in our is our New Zealand weather where we may have five climates in one day. This is something all plein air artists around the world put up with - possibly making painting on location all the more challenging.
As mentioned in Wikipedia, French impressionist painters such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir advocated plein air painting, and much of their work was done outdoors in the diffuse light of a large white umbrella. Mine is smaller and much easier to transport.
A plein air group has been set up in Auckland. If you would like to paint out and about with others, more information may be found at PAPNZ
'Chasing the light" is a well known expression in the world of plein air painting. Sometimes it's a momentary mixture of light, blending clouds with sky reflecting on the land. Of course one should feel an affinity with the scene to be painted and when this does happen, a painting normally emerges which is pleasing and am happy with.
Other times this may not happen, (believe me, these are many). Some try this way of painting but, sadly, do not persevere after finding it is more difficult than they thought and remain in their homes painting from photographs. If only persevered, they would find their own studio art would improve dramatically, at the same time enjoying the wonderful scenery around us.
Whether a resident or visitor, then share your paintings for others to see to a page specifically set up for New Zealand en plein air paintings (opens in a new tab).
Experience how 'plein air' painting will improve your studio work. From those starting out through to professional painters (opens in a new tab).