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!

Warm regards,

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).

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Editor PleinAir Today, Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the Editor of Plein Air Today and works as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.

12 COMMENTS

  1. I want to say that I have a LOT of confidence in Andrew. First because he is a delight to deal with, secondly because he is passionate about art. That’s what drew us together originally. Third, because he learns and masters things quickly. He was so excited at PACE that I thought he was going to cry… because he felt like he had found his home, his people, his tribe. (Andrew, now you know how I feel.) Like all good PleinAir magazine family, he will get sucked into leaning to painting and before long he will truly be one of the tribe 🙂 Meanwhile I’m honored to have him because he is a great journalist and an all around wonderful guy.

  2. I enjoy insightful stories about art exhibitions. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal that particularly inspired me covered a show at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts about the paintings of Matisse. Along with his paintings the museum also exhibited several of his possessions, some distinctly kitch, that were close to the painters heart. For example, a peculiar chair with dolphins for arms or an oddly twisted vase given to him by a friend. Matisse was also attracted to the patterns on Near Eastern fabrics, which he collected. But the thing that especially piqued my interest was how Matisse rearranged these beloved objects and fabric patterns in various ways and used them repeatedly in his paintings. I often paint views of my garden and its familiar features, such as a Spanish fountain, a pergola covered with purple wisteria in spring or a twisted Italian cypress, and I often put people in my paintings as well. When reading this article, I thought—Wow!—Why not rearrange some of these familiar themes and shapes in new and creative ways?

  3. Welcome Andrew, it is indeed a tribe and I’m glad you joined. I look forward to your writings and observations. I hope you can shine a light on the magic of Plein Air Watercolors. I refer myself as an endangered species but very much part of the Plein Air scene and urban sketchers life as well as the growing world of gouache and acrylic. Please keep an eye out for us we may be a bit under the radar but we are very much a part of this tribe. Laguna Plein Air Painters Association has their first Annual Waterworks Exhibition opening May 13th at Forrest and Ocean Gallery in Laguna Beach and this is a huge compliment. Cheers and wishing you happy writings

  4. Exciting! Hello Andrew! While I love reading about all the pros, it would be very nice to see more about all the Plein Air artists. There are so many groups! My organization, Plein Air Washington Artists has about 200 members and growing, from all over Washington State! We have several paint-outs a year and two very different shows! I know there are many groups out there, whether very organized, or very simple. But I would love to read about, you know, some of the dedicated regular folks painting en Plein Air for the pure joy! Thanks!

  5. Andrew, Welcome to the “tribe”. I can only imagine your excitement while at the PACE. Eric and his dynamic team have created a very big family that keeps on growing and you, you lucky guy, will be in the thick of it. You will get to know more about us than what may be ink-worthy, so do share what you can. We love to read about what’s happening out in the fields, what’s trending, and perhaps a story or two on the challenges we face as a tribe and how they are overcome. All my best to you.

  6. Andrew- Sorry I didn’t get a chance to meet you in person in San Diego at PACE. Welcome to your new position! I look forward to reading and enjoying the content you’ll be editing. All the best.

  7. Andrew- it was great to meet in person at PACE17. Tom introduced us and I did send you the info and images you requested of my upcoming one woman show at Ella Richardson Fine Art. June 2. Please let me know if you received the info and I look forward to speaking with you some more. Very excited to receive your editorials and keeping up with you fellow Carolinian.

  8. I am happy to see someone with a degree in art history at the helm! Too often we have good painters who have either spotty or no art history background and I suspect this is because they have not gone through the hoops of getting an art degree. I’m older than dirt, but can remember the art history classes I was forced to take at UC Davis while grumbling that all I wanted to do was make sculpture like Bob Arneson and paint like Wayne Thiebaud, who taught there at the time. Little did I know how useful those art history classes would be! I hope you spread some of your knowledge.

  9. Wow! Thanks for all of the support and encouragement! All of your suggestions are well-received and on my radar. Keep in touch! Cheers!

  10. Glad you are aboard Andrew. Congrats. I saw you at Pace 17 but I did not get a chance to talk with you. The Plein Air movement is gathering steam. Art buyers now know the art form and are getting eager to acquire early plein air pieces by up and coming artists. Before Pace I started doing and very large plein air pieces 30″ x 40″ and 24″ x 36. 2 of them have sold and the collectors are excited about the size and speed. You have to remain very focused and fast with large brushes. To complete a plein air piece in 2-3 hours does require focus. The weather in San Diego gives us a helping hand. I will be doing an “open Studio” art sale in a month and 75% will be plein air works. I am looking forward to your articles.

  11. Hi Andrew! Congratulations on your new position! I look forward to your future posts! I echo Barbara’s sentiment. Watercolor is a perfect medium for plein air! Starting as an Urban Sketcher painting on my travels, my love for the medium grew to studio and more plein air work. Would love to see watercolor “represent” more!

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