The Landscape Painter’s Learning Guide, Pt. 2

This week, I will follow up on my article from the last issue of PleinAir Today, titled “Three Important Skills Every Landscape Painter Needs.” In this segment I begin to explain some of the concepts that are recommended as a map for studying landscape painting. In my workshops, I do this as a Power Point presentation, but I’ll attempt to explain it here in a few paragraphs.

Remembering Tommy

So beloved was Tommy Macaione to his chosen hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico, that after his death in 1992 a bronze statue of him painting en plein air was erected in a downtown park. When was the last time you saw a bronze statue of a plein air painter? Maybe one exists in Giverny, the Fontainebleau Forest, or possibly the Laguna coast, but I have not heard tell of one. What made this artist so worthy of a statue?

Why This Works: Color Harmony, Cohesion Through Brushstrokes

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, Doug Gorrell’s “River Mist.”

My Favorite Place to Paint: Peggy Immel and the Rio Grande

Created by presidential proclamation in March 2013, the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico features 10,000-foot mountains, high deserts, and a breathtaking gorge that — in some places — reaches a depth of 800 feet. Sound like plein air perfection? For Peggy Immel, it sure is.

PACE: More than Culture

As the curtain closed Thursday night on the 6th Annual PleinAir Convention & Expo in San Diego, California, I was left with one prevailing thought that characterized well the entire week of fun, new friends, and exhaustion.

Plein Air Painting as Resistance

Jerry Fresia lives in Italy but has his pulse on the world — political, artistic, and otherwise. He believes that a plein air painter is a soul who struggles, and he sees parallels in the bigger picture. Do you agree?

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

Irresistible Tales From a Plein Air Veteran

Newsletters from the Plein Air Painters of America are usually interesting, but the latest one caught our eye because of some tales from veteran plein air painter Skip Whitcomb.

Carl Bretzke’s Top 10 Reasons for Attending the Plein Air Convention

Don’t take it from us — hear it from one of plein air painting’s stars. The Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE) is the place to be in April.

Is Ultramarine a Cool Blue?

Particularly in plein air painting, where carrying a lot of paint tubes around and having a complex palette is often avoided, artists go for a split-primary palette, with a warm and cool for each primary color. So what is your warm blue?

My Favorite Place to Paint: Stephanie Marzella and Romantic Charleston

A plein air painting session for Stephanie Marzella can last six hours in her new home in South Carolina. Why?

A Scene Worth Its Salt

Malta painter Andrew Borg found beauty in a historical salt manufacturing compound. He explains his process and the site’s history below.

Accepting the Challenge of Painting Sky

Tomas Honz has an impressive body of work focusing on various sky conditions. It was not done without a fair amount of adversity.

How the Desert Helped Carlton Paint Snow

Minnesota artist Philip Alexander Carlton was not impressed with painting winter in the Midwest until he realized he could apply lessons learned on his lengthy road trip.

Unsticking the Stuck Student

Artist and art industry veteran Terry Stanley has some advice for art instructors who encounter students with a block stopping their progress.

Why This Works: Supporting the Star Player

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, Kurt Jacobson’s “DeLong Lake, Alaska.”

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