Preview the newest issue of PleinAir Magazine with the Editor’s Letter:
PleinAir Magazine Editor’s Note: Always a Student
I hope you’ll check out this issue’s Plein Air Heritage, which features a riveting piece Claude Monet made while struggling with cataracts in his 80s. Confronted with such adversity — surely one of the cruelest afflictions for a visual artist — he refused to give up painting. Instead, he embarked on a new path in his artistic process, enlarging his canvases, experimenting with compositional cropping, and playing with tonal harmonies. He learned to adapt.
In fact, learning and adapting is a crucial part of being an artist. Just ask Peggy Immel, one of three octogenarians spotlighted in our special feature “Unstoppable: 3 Age-Defying Artists.” “I’ve come to realize that the more I paint, the more I recognize how much I don’t know,” she says. “Along with the problem-solving and creative aspects of painting, learning new things is one of the aspects that keeps me excited.”
No matter your age or artistic experience, chances to learn abound. This issue features the 2024 Artists’ Guide to Workshops, Schools, and Ateliers, which is positively packed with opportunities for you to take the next (or first) step on your painting journey. And of course one of the highlights of the plein air painting workshop calendar is our own Plein Air Convention & Expo, taking place this year in the Smoky Mountains, complete with a special visit to paint on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate.
For those of you who will be joining us as we venture over hill and dale to paint in the Smokies — or anyone interested in making their next plein air painting excursion a little easier, and that’s all of us, isn’t it? — don’t miss this issue’s “The Elements” column on packing light. PleinAir Magazine contributing writer Bob Bahr spoke to six top plein air painters working in a variety of media to get their best tips for lightening your load when trekking to all of your favorite out-of-the-way painting spots.
And finally, be sure to spend some time with plein air painters from around the world in our story “A Global Vision.” In what’s become an annual favorite, this year we check in with four top artists on three continents to find out how plein air is practiced across the globe. (And if you’re interested in taking an extended plein air painting trip to any of these inspiring locales, Stephen Quiller shares an interesting approach to making the most of the experience in “Watercolors and Wanderlust.”)
Whether you’re an artist, collector, or art enthusiast, I hope you’ll learn something new in this issue that expands and enriches your enjoyment of plein air painting, or landscape art in general. Remaining forever a student of art, of life, is undoubtedly the path to staying young at heart.