Put together by Plein Air Magazine, this Outside the Lines documentary on the history of Plein Air painting is a good watch. It’s about 38 minutes long, and covers American and European lines. The cinematography is excellent, too. A lot of history here, so enjoy:
My own history with plein air painting is turbulent. I’ve never considered myself a great drawer, and I’ve always felt that drawing is something a plein air painter needs to excel at. I’m sure abstract works can be done plein air as well. But all the plein air painters I see these days are doing exactly what’s shown in the documentary above. For me, I really need to think about an object and then really develop studies before I can start to paint. I don’t work with the whims of the elements. I work with my skills to develop what I see and feel. Maybe someday I’ll get better at plein air, or discover a way to do plein air abstract. But until then I’m going to have to learn how to be more impulsive and comfortable with my lack of drawing immediate drawing skills.