Plein air painter Aaron Schuerr has tapped into an ever-expanding audience, and it all started with his Instagram page. Regularly posting visually compelling paintings while en plein air has gotten him attention from the likes of Bored Panda, My Modern Met, The Daily Telegraph, and The Times of London. Most recently, the Kelly Clarkson Show reached out Aaron, which led to an interview on the daytime television program.
“I often photograph my paintings on the easel in the field,” Aaron said. “Occasionally it works out that the painting lines up with the landscape. I call these ‘easel shots’ and they’ve really taken off on Instagram.”
“One of Kelly Clarkson’s reps saw my Instagram page and contacted me to see if I’d be interested in being on the show (via Zoom), and we were off to the races,” he said. “Her assistant was really helpful in preparing me for the interview- we did a few mock interviews, and did a Zoom check to make sure that the space and lighting worked.
“The whole thing was so far out of anything I’d have expected as a plein air painter. Appearing on a National Talk Show was definitely not part of my game plan! Some of it is funny – I get described as a ‘hyper-realist’ when my work is far from it. And, I’m not sure I’ll be able to live down being introduced as ‘Bob Ross 2.0’ but I’ll take it – it has been so much fun to introduce plein air painting to a wider audience.”
Watch Kelly Clarkson interview Aaron Schuerr here:
“While Social Media has its significant downsides, it’s been a great tool for direct communication,” Aaron said. “On one level the easel shots are a trick, but on another, they are a fun way of inviting people into the field with me. Painting from life is increasingly important to me, and if I can share a bit of the process and the places that bring me joy, I think that is a positive thing.”
In addition to posting “easel shots” on Instagram, Aaron has also been on a “Plein Air Marathon.” Each weekday, he posts a new 8×10 painting on social media, with an early preview for his newsletter subscribers. He sells the works unframed and discounted.
“It’s been a great way to motivate myself to get out to paint nearly every day – even in the rain,” he said. “It has also helped grow my subscriber list and keep people engaged.”
Aaron Schuerr’s work has also been on the cover of Plein Air Magazine. Read his feature story in the February/March 2020 issue here.