Kathy Anderson agrees that for everything, there is a season. That’s why this artist is happy to set up a still life on the Main Stage of the Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE) in April and paint indoors. How does this align with her love for plein air painting? 

“Sunlit Patio,” by Kathy Anderson, oil, 36 x 28 in. Courtesy of Tree’s Place, Orleans, Massachusetts

“For me, plein air painting means painting from life,” says the Connecticut artist, who counts herself among the group known as the Putney Painters — artists who paint and learn from Richard Schmid in his studio/barn in Putney, Vermont. “I hate working from photographs.”

“Golden Sunflowers,” by Kathy Anderson, 32 x 18 in. Courtesy of Tree’s Place, Orleans, Massachusetts

Still, come winter, Anderson stays in the studio for the most part. She sets up still lifes, or finishes plein air paintings she began in warmer months. This doesn’t bother her — on the contrary. “I love winter,” says Anderson. “I love the rest period. It lets me rest after the summer.” 

Anderson says she is going to line up a flower delivery for her demo at PACE. And chances are she’ll also sneak out to paint the beautiful scenery around Monterey. 

“Dream Lake,” by Kathy Anderson, 12 x 9 in. Courtesy of Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona

“The energy I get from working outside from life is not to be compared to anything,” says the artist. “I get such energy from it. It forces your eye to simplify. My paintings from the studio jump a leap in quality when I go out and paint outdoors. Paintings are always so much better when I work on them outside.” But for everything, there is a season.

“Tomatillos With Pansies,” by Kathy Anderson, oil, 11 1/2 x 13 1/2 in. Courtesy of Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona

The Plein Air Convention & Expo will be held April 13-17 in Monterey, California. Last year, more than 700 artists basked in the perfect weather and learned from 70 instructors. This year’s faculty is looking stellar. Learn more here.

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