French Expression which means “In The Open Air”, and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors.
We are very excited to offer the residents of Mt Lebanon and the surrounding areas of western Pennsylvania a unique arts event that celebrates the beauty of our town and its people through plein air painting.
The term, en plein air, is French phrase that simply translated means “in the open air” and has come to define the art of painting outdoors. The roots of plein air painting are found in 19th-century Europe when paints became available in tubes and allowed the artist to leave the studio and carry equipment to the location of their choice. English artist, John Constable, believed that artists should forget ”formulas” and trust their own vision in finding truth in nature. Over the past 15 years plein air painting has experienced resurgence in popularity due to the great connection made between the artist and his subject and potential patron.
Plein air painting is done on location, capturing the atmosphere of the moment. The majority of the painting must be completed on site with little to no work to be done in the studio. Most artists agree this is the true test of ones skill as a painter as it requires complete confidence in placement of color and brushwork in a short amount of time. For example, a sunset may only last 30-40 minutes. That would be all the time the artist has to capture the scene.