PleinAir Magazine


What exactly is plein air painting? I have a French dictionary and am aware that en plein air means “outside.” So plein air painting must mean painting outside. However, in some discussions in recent years with several artists (some quite renowned), I’ve learned that there are those who consider plein air painting to be a style of painting, and that just because you are painting outside doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a plein air painter. I find this perplexing. To clarify my own view of what I consider plein air painting, I thought I’d share a story.


Leaving my car beside the road one day in the White Mountain National Forest, I enter

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