Autumn Moon
By Matt Smith
14 x 18 in.

PLEIN AIR PAINTERS OF AMERICA – Est. 1986 ~ The Original Society of Outdoor Painters

To promote the tradition of painting the landscape directly from life, while providing members and others the opportunities to expand their knowledge through shared experience, extraordinary workshops, and public exhibitions.

Members of PAPA believe that ‘plein air’ is nothing more than painting from life, utilizing direct observation to gather information, along with responding visually and emotionally to the subject at hand. For us, the final measure of a good painting is not whether it was executed entirely outdoors but whether it reflects the artist and withstands the test of time. – John Budicin, PAPA president, 2005–07

Founded in 1986 by artist Denise Burns on Catalina Island, California, the Plein-Air Painters of America began as a small group of artists dedicated to painting from life. For the first two decades, PAPA held annual paint-outs followed by an exhibition in Avalon on Catalina. This format, unique at the time, has given birth to countless similar groups and events across the country.

In 2007, PAPA expanded its format to include exhibitions in museums and art centers to emphasize the importance of field studies in the process of making studio paintings.

PAPA members are seasoned outdoor painters and considered some of the best teachers of the genre today, conducting workshops throughout the country and internationally. PAPA also collaborates with Streamline Premium Art Video to produce instructional videos that are indispensable learning tools.

Visit to learn more about PAPA and to check out upcoming workshops and events.