There are many different ways to experience the outdoors. You don’t have to do rigorous hikes through the unknown or primitive camp to enjoy time in nature. What if you are an artist? How could you combine art and the outdoors? How about by trying plein air painting?
Plein air is a french term which means “in the open air”. Plein air painting is done outdoors and on location in front of the subject. It is completed while experiencing the landscape firsthand while minor adjustments can be made at home.
According to the Plein Air Painters of Pensacola, the perception of the plein air subject is dependent on the conditions encountered while on site and the artist’s response to these is usually evident in the finished painting. Plein air paintings that follow this standard tend to have a quality that reflects the immediacy of the artist’s interaction with the subject. Many different styles and mediums are used “to contribute to the unique expression of each artist while painting en plein air.”
One of the members of the Plein Air Painters of Pensacola, Jill Berry, has a beautiful loose, impressionistic style of oil painting which has won her several awards. She also has work included in “A Painter’s Paradise,” a book by Eastern Shore Art Center. One of the group members you may be familiar with, Nina Fritz, works in watercolor and oil. She owns two galleries on the Florida Gulf Coast; one in the community of Seaside, the other on Pensacola Beach. Nina Fritz was commissioned by Paramount Pictures to create paintings for the “The Truman Show,” which included scenes at Seaside, Florida. I particularly love her unique watercolor portraits.
With the weather warming up, why not try taking your art out under some blue skies and Florida sun. It doesn’t matter what medium you use or what level of artist you are. Anyone is welcome to join the Plein Air Painters of Pensacola. Not available when they meet on Friday mornings? Take your supplies outside on the weekends to any of the great places the gulf coast has to offer!