acrylic plein air painting of a barn
Anne Blair Brown, “Reflecting,” 12x12, Acrylic, Plein Air

The following is part of a series featuring a leader in the art community who is on the faculty of the 11th Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE) in The Great Smoky Mountains, May 20-24, 2024.

“The main thing I am inspired by with every painting, including these, is focusing less on what I’m painting, and more on how I’m painting,” says Anne Blair Brown. “My color choices and mark-making are how I share my voice, i.e. what I am experiencing in the moment.

“I’m always looking at how to arrange the shapes and identify the values to create more impact with less information. I want to engage my viewers such that they might complete the ‘story’ for themselves.”

plein air acrylic painting
Anne Blair Brown, “Botany Bay View,” 10×12, Acrylic, Plein Air
acrylic plein air painting of a house
Anne Blair Brown, “Bushy,” 12×12, Acrylic, Plein Air

“In the past two years, I have started to move away from solvents in my studio. I still use water-soluble oils a lot, but I also use acrylics a good deal in both my plein air and studio work. It has become my goal to remove the cloud of inferiority that seems to be attached to acrylics as being paints only worthy of craft projects. In fact, I challenge you to be able to tell the difference between one of my oil paintings and one of my acrylic paintings.

oil plein air painting of chickens on a farm
Anne Blair Brown, “Girl Time,” 16×16, oil, studio, based on a plein air study

“The fast drying time of acrylics allows me to get that look of spontaneity in a larger piece that I might fail to get if I had all this extra drying time to ‘smoosh’ the paint about. I’m excited to demonstrate my process of ‘going big’ to the PACE attendees and open eyes to using acrylic paints for gallery-worthy paintings.”

acrylic plein air painting
Anne Blair Brown, “Happy Place,” 12×14, Acrylic, Plein Air
plein air painting of flowers
Anne Blair Brown, “In the Pink,” 11×10, Acrylic, Plein Air

Visit Anne Blair Brown’s website at

Join Anne Blair Brown and PleinAir Magazine in the Smokies for the 11th Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo! May 20-24, 2024 we’ll have five stages with over 80 instructors, and will be painting throughout The Great Smoky Mountains, including the Biltmore Estate.


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