Mario Andres Robinson, "Labor Day" (study), 2020, oil, 9 x 12 in., Collection the artist, Plein air (featured in PleinAir Magazine, December/January 2021)

A letter from Kelly Kane, Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir Magazine

In a year filled with confusion and anxiety, we’ve also seen incredible displays of ingenuity. In early spring, when galleries had to close their doors and events and workshops were cancelled or postponed across the country, we all worried about how the arts would survive. But then creatives got creative.

Artists, organizers, and gallery owners adjusted, finding ways to stay active and relevant — from delivering paintings to collectors so they could experience the work in their homes before buying, to converting in-person workshops to online and hosting virtual plein air events that kept participating artists and communities engaged and connected. And in many cases, the results exceeded expectations, revealing new opportunities that may become part of standard operating procedures going forward.

PleinAir Magazine
The cover of our December/January issue; art by Dave Santillanes (Click here to buy the digital version of PleinAir Magazine now)

Through it all, artists have continued to do what artists do — make art. And we have all been better for it. At a time when most of us have spent more hours at home than ever before, art has given us a window on the world. In fact, many galleries and artists report record-breaking or near record-breaking sales this year, as art buyers look to bring beauty to their lives and homes in a troubling time.

And for the readers of PleinAir, featured artists have not only taken us far afield, with trips to India, San Miguel de Allende, and the French plain of Gennevilliers, for example, they have given us a fresh outlook on familiar landscapes as well.

In this issue, a group of nine painters share their journey high into California’s Eastern Sierra, revealing scenes the majority of us will never see in person. On the opposite coast, Mario Robinson shares a few iconic sights from his trips to Nantucket this summer. And in between, we visit landscapes from across the United States.

The fact that this issue also includes the annual Ultimate Guide to Painting Events & Organizations is another testament to the tenacity and creativity of those in the arts. As many events had to cancel or postpone this year, others (with perhaps a little more time to prepare) found ways to safely hold all or some components of their festivities in person, and when that was not possible, to move to virtual options.

All those that found a way to continue or hang on for another year defiantly and hopefully look forward to better days in 2021. Let’s celebrate their efforts from coast to coast and support them however we can.

And for those of you who have joined us for either of our international live events, Plein Air Live and Realism Live, I hope you’ll continue to learn and engage with other artists at Watercolor Live in January. With most of our own in-person events cancelled this year, these Live experiences are our way of keeping you active and growing — in the comfort of your own home! We’re bringing you the best of the best from across the country, indeed the world, featuring artists from all disciplines whose tips and techniques you can put into practice in your own work, regardless of subject matter. Join us!

PleinAir Magazine, December/January Table of Contents:

PleinAir Magazine DecJan 21 contents

Get your copy of the newest issue of PleinAir Magazine — available on newsstands — or subscribe here so you never miss an issue.

Related > As part of his daily live Facebook videos, Publisher Eric Rhoads recently interviewed watercolor artist and “storyteller” Mario Robinson, who talks about his approach to composition, using watercolor, and much more.