Preview the newest issue of PleinAir Magazine with the Editor’s Letter:
A few months ago, my daughter Brenna and I were browsing the stalls at Summerfair, an annual arts fair in Cincinnati, Ohio. She had just graduated high school and was on the lookout for something special to commemorate the milestone. I paused to take in some lovely pastels by an artist whose work I’d admired at previous fairs, and Brenna fell in love with the idea of purchasing her first painting.
As she and I talked about a few of her favorite pieces, the artist, Marianna McDonald, leaned in and asked if I was involved in the arts. As it turns out, Marianna had attended one or two of the Live events I cohosted with PleinAir Magazine publisher Eric Rhoads and recognized my voice even before she saw my face.
Happy to engage the new young collector, Marianna shared the story of the painting Brenna had selected. Painted en plein air not terribly far from where we live, the piece depicts a familiar landscape — the “flower bowl” in Raven Run Nature Sanctuary just outside Lexington, Kentucky, a favorite hiking spot of Brenna’s older sister. Marianna was not only able to name all the flowers in the piece, but also the best time to visit in order to see the landscape exactly as she had on the day she painted it.
Although we didn’t have the pleasure of watching the artist create the painting firsthand, it felt like the next best thing. Brenna made a connection to the landscape in her first painting, to the wonderful artist who painted it, and to the joy of curating an (hopefully rich) art collection.
In this issue, we celebrate artists who find inspiration close to home or in unfamiliar territory. They share a connection to one another, to the landscape, and to those collectors they inspire with their work.
In “Destination Inspiration,” Kathleen Hudson recounts how she felt painting in the shadows of petroglyphs in Capitol Reef National Park: “I did feel a sense of kinship across time with the artists who carved elaborate lines into the rock, many of them a clear nod to the same elements of nature that inspire me.”
May this issue inspire you to pick up a brush or stick of pastel and capture a view of your favorite landscape, or to find the next piece that brings you joy to add to your painting collection. However you contribute, you have an important role to play in the continuation of the arts, particularly plein air painting — that which connects us all.
EDITOR’S NOTE: OUR NEW LOOK
I want to thank Alfonso Jones, PleinAir Magazine Creative Director, for the beautiful redesign debuting in this issue. Let us know what you think!