Why This Works: Not Every Branch, Twig, and Leaf

In this series, plein air painter and instructor Jeanne Mackenzie takes a look at new paintings by contemporary artists and points out why they succeed as painted images. This week, Kathryn A. McMahon’s “Beaverdams Pond.”

Spotlight on PACE Faculty: Michelle Jung and the Bicoastal

Oil painter Michelle Jung spends half the year in Santa Cruz, California, and the other half in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The contrast between the two locales has sharpened her skills of observation and has given her important insight that she can share with attendees of the Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE), where she is on the faculty.

Homage? Humor? Artistic Statement? Yes.

Through a widely circulated online article in Colossal, plein air painters have been getting a giggle out of a German photographer’s take on painting outdoors, a series of photos that have been collected in a book that walks the line between homage and humor. And they are well-shot pictures.

How Watercolor Can Make You Lose Friends

Watercolor paintings can be exciting, abstract, tight, mysterious, pretty — and divisive among some folks. Just ask Daniel Marshall.

Artist as Collector: Mary Garrish and the Artist’s Choice

Florida painter Mary Garrish calls collecting art “a gut response” to what moves her. But she has another way to explain her choices, one that makes total sense.

What Is Up With the Wildflowers in California?

If you have painter friends in California, then you have undoubtedly heard about this year’s crop of wildflowers. Although the state suffered a terrible drought last year, this has been a wet winter and early spring, and this and other favorable conditions have resulted in a crazy abundance of blooming wildflowers in the Golden State. Artists report in, below.

Eric Rhoads Picks Winners in Marble Falls, Texas

Sales doubled from last year at Paint the Town, in Marble Falls, Texas, an event that was judged by PleinAir magazine publisher Eric Rhoads.

When Nature Hands You Something Special

Walter Bartman is always looking for a sunset that has something unique about it. Boy, did he get one recently.

A Wilderness Trampled for Centuries

American artists James Coe and Debby Kaspari were part of a group that painted for 10 days in one of the cradles of civilization. No matter ho­­w remote the location, they saw numerous signs of human activity. That’s the nature of the Mideast.

Oops, I Painted a Keeper

Plein Air Convention & Expo faculty member Francesco Fontana recently had a demo painting of his get out of hand.

My Favorite Place to Paint: John Caggiano, and Paradise Gained

John Caggiano painted a picture of a beach in the Venice, Florida area titled “A Touch of Paradise.” But it was the artist who gave it that magic touch, not nature.

Spotlight on PACE Faculty: Jill Stefani Wagner and Psychedelic Pink

Jill Stefani Wagner will tell you how the students teach the teachers and the teachers explore with the students in the drama-free, prima donna-averse atmosphere of the Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE). It’s one of the reasons she loves being on the faculty there.

A Step Closer to $15,000

In less than a month, one painter will receive $15,000 for a painting entered in the PleinAir Salon. Now that the final bimonthly contest is over, the contestants are set, and 19 more entries are eligible for the big prize, which will be announced at the Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE) in San Diego, April 24-28.

Get Off of My Cloud!

In the course of our recent Sky Paintings Challenge, we saw dozens of different approaches to the subject matter. Two styles of painting clouds were particularly striking, in part because of their contrast to one another. Check out two ways to look at high-altitude water vapor.

Anatomy of an Award Winner: Nancy Tankersley at the Lighthouse ArtCenter Event

When Nancy Tankersley saw this scene, she felt like it captured the feel of Florida. The judge at the Lighthouse ArtCenter Plein Air Festival agreed.

Strong Sales in New Iberia

Organizers of the Shadows-on-the-Teche Plein Air Competition report that sales doubled from last year’s event. Who won ribbons?

Making Things Difficult for George Van Hook

Why would anyone want to make life difficult for the amiable and energetic plein air dynamo George Van Hook? The painters at the recent Lighthouse ArtCenter Plein Air Festival did last week.

My Favorite Place to Paint: Monika Johnson’s High Desert Meadow

Palette knife painter Monika Johnson loves to paint a spot near Lake Tahoe that offers plenty of depth and a sense of coziness.

AIS Goes Small

A new show for the American Impressionist Society got off to a rousing start in Costa Mesa, California, recently — the Small Works Showcase.

Choosing From Column A

Artists often return to a particular subject matter when they don’t think it has been sufficiently explored. For Richard Maud, one of those motifs is the columns of the Alameda, in Seville, Spain.

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