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What is Plein Aire

8 x 10 in. On RayMar panel
Mount Holly Plein Aire

Many people already are aware of impressionist painters such as Monet, but they might not realize that these painters painted en plein aire to create these beautiful works of art. Plein Aire means in open aire. These landscapes are painted outdoors facing all the inconveniences of the natural elements that often leaves the painter having to plan for them.

Today many painters still enjoy painting outside despite the problems that could arise. One such problem is weather. Is it going to rain? Even a light drizzle could destroy a days work. Is it too hot or cold? Wind can be quite cumbersome if not prepared. Painting plein aire is very enjoyable as long as you know how to pack with a good set up. I‘ve experienced a weak easel that fell over after a wind gust.

Traveling light is a must for painters. If you bring too much gear, and have to walk a long way before getting to your inspiration, you might get worn out before you begin. Once I used a dolly cart to pull my easel because it was loaded down with unnecessary items. Sounded like a great idea until all my screws came loose and I had to tighten them up before setting up my easel. Only bring what you need and everything you really need! A very small screw driver might come in handy.

In future posts, I will be discussing in more detail about supplies in general, and for plein aire.

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