California painter Mark Fehlman loves the Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE) because it offers artists a chance to be with their tribe, and learn from each other. And this year, he doesn’t even have to leave town to attend.
“Everyone helps you,” says Fehlman. “There’s a real camaraderie.” He’ll also feel right at home because of San Diego’s sunny weather. Fehlman loves to paint in a high key, an approach that allows him to better show all the colors in the shadows. (We’ll be exploring Fehlman’s process and philosophy regarding painting further in an upcoming issue of PleinAir magazine.)
The artists who attend PACE are serious painters, and Fehlman appreciates that. This is why field painters are becoming increasingly important to the convention. The attendees are there to learn — even when they are heading outside to scratch their painting itch. “Most people who go to the convention are plein air painters, and they are coming to this because they want to increase their abilities,” comments Fehlman. “This isn’t just entertainment for them. The people who come know what they are doing and want to improve. I am expecting that people will really want you to have them look at their work and offer suggestions on how they can improve their work — not just say, ‘Oh, I like that.’ Like I do in workshops, I will talk about design, about editing as a part of that. You don’t have to paint exactly what you see. Take a tree or mountain and move them together or pull them apart … and it is still plein air painting.”
Fehlman will be a part of this growing dimension of PACE, and he’s glad. “The field painting aspect is getting better and better, and it’s really becoming an important part of the convention,” says the California artist. “You hear all these great things during the day at all the demos and lectures, and then you want to get out and try it. The field painters on the PACE faculty help you.”
Fehlman will be instructing at the Plein Air Convention & Expo, which will be held April 24-28 in San Diego, California. Have you seen the list of faculty members that will be instructing participants? It includes Jeremy Lipking, Quang Ho, James Gurney, Charlie Hunter, and dozens more. The convention is already almost 90 percent filled. Go here to learn more and to register for PACE.