Plein air painting by William Suys
William Suys, “Evening Return,” 9 x 12 in. “Coming off the ferry on Washington Island, WI, this old charmer is one of the first landmarks that says ‘home’. I painted this plein air one evening on a visit to our cabin last summer and it hangs in our personal gallery.”

Plein Air Today would like to congratulate plein air and studio painter William Suys for being elected Master Signature Member in the Oil Painters of America, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of representational art.

When asked how outdoor painting informs his work, he said, “I always say I do plein air because it informs my work, and I mean it! When plein air painting, we’re being presented all the questions, and they take all forms; the solidity of a building, the transparency of atmosphere, the transition of light, and the translucency of a tree. With each painting, we learn a little bit about how to understand the complexity and beauty of interpreting what is presented to us in the natural world.

“As I go forward with my plein air work, I’ll want to build a two-dimensional personal celebration of the environment presented to me — while working toward a genuine emotional response. Because of the immediacy and idiosyncratic nature of each plein air experience, success is not guaranteed, but sometimes serendipity pulls everything together with very satisfying results.”

The OPA recognition, he says, “is a heartwarming and humbling confirmation of where I stand as an artist. It is also a huge opportunity and challenge, as it lays a foundation for a new level in my exploration of Art and what I am able to develop and offer. I really look forward to doubling down on my existential effort toward realizing Artistic mastery.”

William’s announcement is wonderful, and our team is happy for him and his many achievements. As he and I continued to converse via email, however, I realized that this “story” is much bigger. His is a story that is representative of why so many of us are drawn to art and from so many different angles. He helps us understand with a fresh perspective why it’s so important. Why it’s so much more than what we end up viewing in a frame.

Read our full interview from Fine Art Today here.

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