Stephen Doherty on New Journeys

Stephen Doherty painting at Stourhead in Wiltshire, England in the 1990s

This February/March issue of PleinAir magazine will be my last as editor-in-chief. I made the decision a year ago that by the time I reached my 70th birthday, I would end my 39-year career with art magazines and devote more time to painting, teaching, and volunteering. During that year, Eric Rhoads conducted a broad search for someone to replace me, and I’m delighted he was able to hire Kelly Kane to take over with the April/May convention issue of the magazine. Kelly has considerable experience developing and managing the content of several art magazines, and she will do an outstanding job with PleinAir.

I’ve spent the past seven years at PleinAir and have thoroughly enjoyed working with members of the artist community, the magazine’s staff and management, and manufacturers of supplies and equipment for outdoor painters. I can’t say the previous 29 years were as happy or fulfilling. Like everyone who has dealt with unsupportive school principals, new gallery managers, and incompetent bosses, I had my share of struggles. But those challenges only made me more appreciative of the supportive and inspiring community of plein air enthusiasts. Now I want to be known within that community as a painter, and not an editor or an awards judge. I will apply to some plein air festivals in hopes of being invited to paint alongside some of the friends I have made over the years.

I also have opportunities to give back to my local community by volunteering at the Beverley Street Studio School in Staunton, Virginia, to plan classes and workshops. I have also joined the choir and session of the First Presbyterian Church in Waynesboro, Virginia, a wonderful community resource addressing the needs of members and area residents.

Finally, I will have the chance to travel and paint, something I have always enjoyed. To start, my wife and I will return to England and Wales in July so we can enjoy the gardens, the vistas, and the historic homes and churches.

I thank you for supporting PleinAir and making my work so enjoyable. I’m sure you join me in welcoming Kelly Kane and the new ideas and energies she brings to the magazine, website, and e-newsletter.

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WATCH: Plein Air Magazine Honors Steve Doherty at the 7th Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo

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  1. I am so very happy for you Steven D. Years ago you gave me an award at an outdoor show in the Chesapeak area of Va. I liked you instantly. Hope to see you again.
    Sincerely Sue Furrow

  2. Dear Steve,
    Heartfelt congratulations to you on 39 years of a job well done. Now it’s your turn to follow your true passion. Hope to run into you while painting outdoors.
    Incidentally, you edited and published a terrific book about the plein air paintings of Thomas Kinkade. That was by far the most beautiful and honest book of his work that I have ever seen. Bravo.


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