First Brush of Spring - seen in PleinAir Magazine
From left to right at the First Brush of Spring Quick Draw: Kelly Kane, Donna Shortt, Carol Strock-Wasson, Jed Dorsey, Diane Bay, David Seward, Angel Walthour, and Lon Brauer (not pictured: Lavinia Hale). Photo by Andy Batt

Preview the newest issue of PleinAir® Magazine with the Editor’s Letter:

Relationship Goals

The average lifespan of a small business is about eight and a half years. For a hobby, it’s about 16 months. It’s an incredible feat, then, when plein air events (primarily volunteer-run) reach milestone anniversaries like the ones we’re celebrating this year. In this issue alone, you’ll read about the 10th Annual Shadows-on-the-Teche event, the 20th anniversary of Plein Air Easton, and the 25th annual First Brush of Spring.

The cover of our June/July 2024 issue of PleinAir Magazine
The cover of our June/July 2024 issue of PleinAir Magazine; art by Geoff Allen (Click here to buy the digital version now)

The success of events like these and others (the annual Laguna Invitational celebrated its 25th anniversary last year) testify to the passion and commitment the volunteers and host communities have for plein air painting, the participating artists, and the local landscape. For the organizers who plan the annual events, as well as the local artists and collectors who attend, having professional painters come to town and share their experience while interpreting familiar landscapes is exhilarating. For the artists who participate, the events allow for introductions to new collectors, access to unique subject matter, and networking opportunities. All in all, they’re convivial, mutually beneficial relationships.

As I write this note, I’m one week away from heading to the annual Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE) in the Great Smoky Mountains. The plein air community of event organizers, volunteers, artists, collectors, and admirers is much on my mind. By the time you read this, I’ll be back at my desk working on the next issue. I hope I’ll have run into you at PACE (I love to meet subscribers!), but if I missed you or you weren’t able to attend this year, I want to take this opportunity to invite you to reach out. Let me know what issues you’re facing, what kinds of stories you’d like to see more of, or the names of artists you’d enjoy learning more about.

As PleinAir publisher Eric Rhoads often says, we need to keep this community healthy and thriving to ensure it’s around to support future generations of artists, collectors, and enthusiasts. And I want to make sure the magazine continues to evolve and grow right along with it, so that we’ll be here to support you in your endeavors, wherever you fit into this broad fellowship.

Please e-mail me with your comments and story ideas at [email protected].

A Word About Watercolor

In this issue’s special feature, “Watercolor Pioneers,” we celebrate the rich tradition of watercolor, particularly in relation to British and American landscape painting. And in The Elements column, we bring you tips from four of today’s finest plein air watercolor painters to help you tackle one of the toughest but most painted subjects — water.

Still not enough watercolor for you? We’ve got you covered. Sign up for our free American Watercolor newsletter at Twice a week, we’ll drop a selection of tips and techniques from top watercolor artists and instructors; creative prompts and fresh painting ideas; and news about exhibitions, art societies, and competitions right into your e-mail inbox.

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