plein air landscapes

What is Plein Air Painting?

Artists have long painted outdoors, but in the mid-19th century, working in natural light became particularly important to the Barbizon school, Hudson River School, and Impressionists. The Newlyn School in England is considered another major proponent of the technique in the latter 19th century. The popularity of painting en plein air increased in the 1840s with the introduction of paints in tubes (like those for toothpaste). Previously, painters made their own paints by grinding and mixing dry pigment powders with linseed oil. 

The act of outdoor painting from observation has been continually popular well into the 21st century.

Personally I find working on landscapes from life incredibly exciting and challenging as you have to deal with an ever changing subject matter so you end up with, not a snapshot, but more a diary of light, form and colours as they change. I work on paintings that I finish in one or two sessions and longer paintings that take up to 5 weeks to complete.