“En Plein Air”


en-plein-air2One of the techniques of painting is called “en plein air”.  The English translation is “open-air”.  It was made very popular by the impressionist painter, Claude Monet.  During his day, the accepted forms of painting were of religious, historical or mythical scenes.  Landscape paintings painted on site were not common, nor were they acceptable.  Monet made them popular.  He would paint scenes of the sea, of rivers, his lily pond, and grain stacks in the countryside.

If you have ever seen artists outdoors with their French easels painting scenes in front of them, they are doing “en plein air” paintings.

This is a photo taken of me this past Friday along a creek in Indianapolis, Indiana.  I very  much enjoyed the experience of painting while the birds sang and the breeze slowly blew past.  I heartily recommend trying this type of painting.  It is tricky in one way – the sun seems to move too quickly across the sky so the shadows constantly change.

Comments on “En Plein Air” Leave a Comment

April 19, 2009

Larraine @ 6:22 pm #

First, I love seeing you sitting there painting. I remember sitting with you while you painted (and I pretended to paint!) What a beautiful setting you found! I think you painting is just beautiful!!!

Sarah @ 8:28 pm #

I just LOVE this picture of you, and the painting is great as well. I am glad you were able to enjoy the beautiful sunshine, doing what you love.

Jennifer @ 8:35 pm #

The painting is beautiful, the setting is beautiful. I have painted “en plein air” only once and found it too be extremely difficult because light and shadow were constantly in motion.

Christine Roach @ 10:10 pm #

I wish I was sitting there with you watching you paint.

May 6, 2009

Susie @ 8:26 pm #

What a setting! I can’t imagine how you can deal with changing shadows, but your painting looks wonderful.

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