Liz Haywood-Sullivan and Kelly Kane at PACE in Santa Fe
Liz Haywood-Sullivan and Kelly Kane at PACE in Santa Fe

Preview the newest issue of PleinAir Magazine with Kelly Kane’s Editor’s Letter.

Take That Step

Squeezing in a moment between presentations at this year’s Plein Air Live virtual event to write this piece, I started thinking about how much has changed since I wrote my first Editor’s Note for PleinAir Magazine. At the time, I was preparing for my first ever Plein Air Convention & Expo (PACE), to be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico — another first for me. I was stepping into a new position, a new world, and I was feeling the pressure.

I could never have imagined that five years later I’d be on camera, co-hosting an event broadcast to 22 countries and all 50 states. This is not the life most introverted writers dream of. But just as I was making plans for what would have been my third in-person convention, this time in Denver, COVID-19 shut us down. Our company had to take dramatic steps to stay in business. And thus, the Live events were born — Plein Air Live, Pastel Live, Realism Live, and Watercolor Live.

Co-hosting the 3rd Annual Plein Air Live with Eric Rhoads
Co-hosting the 3rd Annual Plein Air Live with Eric Rhoads

It was all hands on deck. Accountants and marketing specialists stepped up to man the phones and help with tech issues; writers and ad reps moderated the group chats; and this editor co-hosted three out of the four events with our publisher, Eric Rhoads. We all were asked to take on new roles, to learn new skills, and we did it.

And I suspect a lot of you had to do the same. Not exactly in the same way, of course, but when in-person workshops were cancelled — whether you were scheduled to teach them or attend them — you had to pivot. Instructors had to figure out how to take their classes online or find new revenue streams. Students had to find new ways to keep learning and growing. For both, it likely meant stepping out of comfort zones and mastering new technology. Likewise, galleries, plein air event organizers, and professional artists had to find new ways to connect with customers, sell paintings, and keep their businesses and events going.

We were all forced to learn new things, to stretch our wings. It wasn’t easy, but growth seldom is. No matter what happens now, we have these new skills, a comfort level with new technologies, and the confidence that we can meet challenges and find creative solutions.

Plein Air Magazine AprilMay 22 cover
The cover of our April/May 2022 issue of PleinAir Magazine; art by Colley Whisson (Click here to buy the digital version now)

As I think about going on camera in a few minutes to introduce the next demonstration, I’m reminded of the value of (smartly) putting myself in uncomfortable situations, of facing new challenges. And from this point forward, I hope to do it with a little less fear.

Is there something that’s been holding you back from taking that next step on your artistic journey? Take it from me, you can do it.

PleinAir Magazine, April/May 2022 Table of Contents:

Plein Air Magazine AprilMay 22 contents

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