Plein air painting sketches
All paintings by Anne Blair Brown

Contemporary Impressionist painter Anne Blair Brown says she “connected with plein air painting on a whole new level.” Learn how…

Painting outdoors
Hunkered down painting in the back of my Toyota! Blocks the sun and helps me be less conspicuous.


I am an introvert by nature, and as such I was not hugely rattled by my state’s pandemic related “Stay at Home” order.  I planned on hunkering down and doing a little painting exploration in the studio. Well, the Universe had a different idea.

A huge storm came through our area that caused unprecedented power outages for us and about 240,000 of our neighbors. Painting in the dark, food spoiling…not part of my plan. We packed up the food and the pets and headed to our 1880’s farmhouse in the country. This move to save the groceries afforded me a creative opportunity that I had not anticipated. By living in the countryside as opposed to day-tripping here periodically, I have connected with plein air painting on a whole new level.

Plein air painting is not new to me, but for various reasons I had not been able to get out as much as I like to. Making it a daily practice has been food for my soul. Painting outside teaches us more than any other practice, and faster.

I have been concentrating on quick, gestural sketches to capture color notes and big shapes. I am not aiming for them to be finished, polished paintings. These sketches will be reference material for future studio paintings, the sketches along with my memory of the place. Painting outside consistently has given me an even deeper understanding of light and atmosphere than I had when I arrived to the farmhouse a couple of months ago. I can’t wait to see what happens when I get back in the studio!

Plein air painting sketches
“Purple Daze” 8×8 acrylic on linen. Wildflower study, another one I can’t wait to paint larger. Fields of Bachelor’s Buttons!
Plein air painting sketches
“Buttercups” 8×8 acrylic on linen


Plein air painting sketches
“Still Standing” 12×12 acrylic on linen. The gentleman who lives on this property next door grew up in this house!
Plein air painting sketches
“Country Church” 8×8 acrylic on linen. Can’t wait to paint this one in a larger format!
rural art
“Valley Vista” 8×8 oil on linen. The cows were posing for me. 🙂
rural art
“Hay!” 8×16 oil on linen. Overcast evening. Had to really play with color.
rural art
“By the Creek” 6×8 oil on linen. Wanted to paint this from a different angle but I would have fried like an egg so I chose the view from the shade.
rural art
“Water Valley View” 6×8 acrylic on linen. Very difficult to draw this barn so I focused on color notes instead of perfection.

Listen > PleinAir Podcast Episode 115: Anne Blair Brown on Painting Composition and More:


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