M. Stephen Doherty is the editor of the print and digital editions of Plein Air. He has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Cornell University, served as editor-in-chief of another art magazine for 31 years, wrote a dozen books and hundreds of magazine articles, participates in plein air events, and serves as an adviser to art organizations and schools. “A wise friend encouraged me to follow my passion, and that’s exactly what I am doing as editor of the exciting print and digital updates of the magazine everyone loves,” says Doherty. “Plein Air will offer a broad coverage of the creative process that takes place in the field and in the studio; it will once again be the essential link between artists, suppliers, and collectors; and it will keep everyone informed about the fast-paced, ever-changing world of contemporary art.”
Today’s plein air movement excites me on many levels. Painting on location allows artists to learn about color, shape and form, which are essential to good painting methods. It has also become a vital recreational activity in that it provides people with an outlet for their creativity while allowing them to incorporate hiking and time with nature. Students, hobbyists, professional artists, both of modest and unlimited means are becoming environmentalists and outdoors men and women who spend time in nature, as well as those who just love art.
Of course the social aspect of plein air painting and collecting also excites me as the two gather groups together for painting, collecting and philanthropic events across the globe. Collectors passionate about outdoor paintings are following their favorite painters to art shows and events and love observing the craft of painting as much as the art of collecting. That’s what makes Plein Air magazine so unique. Unlike other publications which either focus on the art of making art or the art of collecting art, we’re able to bring the two together. And because all good painting starts with studies from life, whether using a landscape on location or a live model as inspiration, most plein air painters are also studio painters who complete larger studio paintings for galleries, therefore we’ll cover that step of their process as well.
After 31 years of spending three hours a day on a commuter train, fighting the crowds in Manhattan, and squeezing in a few hours of plein air painting every week, I am delighted to be joining the active, engaged, passionate community of artists and collectors who share my love for painting from nature outdoors and in the studio.
I welcome you to Plein Air magazine.