History of Plein Air PaintingThe history of plein air painting is explained in the following beautiful documentary, “Outside The Lines.”

Produced by the publishers of PleinAir Magazine, “Outside The Lines” was created to further the mission of the Plein Air Force which aims to bring plein air painting to the world!

Plein air painting is a French expression meaning “in the open air,” and refers to the act of painting outdoors. The term was used to describe Claude Monet and the Impressionists in France. Since then, the term plein air has been used to describe people who paint outside. Using a pochade box, or outdoor easel, paints, and brushes, plein air artists strive to capture the spirit and essence of a landscape or subject before them.

PaintOutside.com explains that Plein Air painting is for people who love to be outdoors in nature, people who love to paint landscapes (as well as other outdoor subjects like buildings, cities, old barns, farm equipment, statues, flowers, gardens and people). Painting outdoors offers artists the pleasure of being in nature, and the ability to “stop and smell the roses” because of the need to concentrate on a single scene until the painting is completed.

Plein air painting is a joyful experience and an important discipline. It takes artists of all levels outside and into the open air, and away from their studios or desk jobs. Plein air painting pushes us out of our comfort zones and stretches our imaginations.

Please enjoy this captivating documentary. While watching, you might even recognize a person or two. Plus, I can almost guarantee it will make you want to get out there and paint! I am proud to be a part of the plein air painting movement.

Learn some great plein air painting techniques from the pros in my book, Fine Art Tips with Lori McNee!