As the new editor of PleinAir Today, I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself and express the excitement I have at entering this remarkable world of outdoor painting. There’s a catch, however.
Greetings to the plein air world! My name is Andrew Webster and — as you know by now — I have been selected as the new editor of the PleinAir Today newsletter. Some of you might already be familiar with me, as I have headed the production of Fine Art Connoisseur’s newsletter, Fine Art Today, for about two years.
I am so excited to begin immersing myself into the world of outdoor painting. I had arguably the best start two weeks ago in San Diego, California, as staff at the 6th Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE). As detailed in last week’s recap of the convention, I feel honored to have been so warmly welcomed by this movement of artists, enthusiasts, collectors, sponsors, and vendors. Unsurprisingly for many of you, I discovered something truly extraordinary at PACE: a family. I was awestruck at not only how wonderfully I was treated, but how everyone treated each other; the energy and excitement were palpable, the support unrivaled.
As you might already know — or assume — my exposure to plein air painting is in its infancy, and I have much to learn. However, after my unforgettable week meeting many of the best outdoor painters alive today and innumerable delightful people, I want you to know that I’m all in. Some say they’ve been “bitten” by the plein air bug. Frankly, I’ve been eaten!
You might be wondering about that sneaky little “catch” I mentioned above. Not to worry: It’s only a simple request to avoid being spat back out by this gigantic plein air bug. I want to make our newsletter the best it can possibly be, but I can only do that with help from you, our dedicated readers. After all, you are the reason PleinAir Today exists!
My learning curve is going to be steep, so I want to encourage each of you to voice your ideas or criticisms when they arise. Tell me what kinds of stories strike chords for you and which ones you’d rather forget. Do you have a story you think your fellow painters would love to hear? Pass it along to me for consideration. Help me to better understand the culture of the plein air movement and what matters to you. I will work tirelessly for you in this endeavor, and I’m confident that together we can continue to grow this extraordinary movement and share it with the world.
Let’s do this!
Andrew M. Webster
For those interested, here’s a quick bio about me:
Andrew M. Webster was born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and Ceramics. While there, Webster was recognized as a University Research Scholar and was a two-time recipient of the Flood Gallery & Fine Arts Center Award. After graduating he attended the University of Oregon on full scholarship, earning his Master’s Degree in Art History in 2013. Studying under Dr. Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that delved into the unique practice of embedded self-portraiture in Italian Christian art of the 15th and 16th centuries. Andrew now lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, with his wife, Katherine, and their three pets, Exekias (dog), Diego (cat), and Francis (cat).