Greg Mason Burns

The History of Plein Air Painting: A Documentary

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.

History of Plein Air Painting
Iglesia San Agustin La Serena – Oil on Canvas Board – 2015