plein air

Minnehaha Creekside Plein Air; casein on board; 6" x 9.75"

En plein air is French for outdoors - while plein air painting is the act of painting outdoors.

A finished painting may also be called a plein air painting but there is no agreement as what exactly that means.  In its most literal form, it mean a painting that was painted, from start to finish, outside without the aid of photography or any devices other than the most basic painting equipment.  Many artists tweak their outdoor paintings upon returning to their studios.  These artists may also refer to their work as plein air because they started the painting outdoors.

Plein air festivals aim to even out the playing field by stamping all of the artists' supports (canvases or papers or boards) with a unique identifying mark at the start of the event.  After getting their stamps, the artists disperse, paint their pictures and return at a designated time with paintings that were executed entirely outdoors. 

The above painting was done in the manner of a plein air event.  The first thing I did upon returning from my paint out was to put the painting on my scanner bed.  There will be no tweaking, no minor - or major - adjustments.  It is what it is.

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