En Plein Air – Sunday 18th May – Telegraph Station

Telegraph Station - Alice Springs

Our 2014 En Plein Air season kicks off this Sunday 3PM at the Telegraph Station. Meet on the river bank behind the main building.  If you are running late look for us scattered about! Bring your art materials as you need. Please consider that the social aspects are as (if not more) important as the artistic endeavour! Do as much, or as little art as you desire! Consider bringing a vino and BBQ grub to enjoy with your snacks that can be as simple or elaborate as you so wish. These we normally share after a time of drawing/painting .. whatever.  Remember a hat, water and a stool. Contact a committee member if you wish to borrow an easel.

Season Program details are under the ‘Plein Air’ TAB at the top, below the banner.

(Photo courtesy Allan Weeks)

En plein air  is a French expression which means “in the open air”, and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors, which is also called peinture sur le motif  (“painting on the ground”) in French.

Claude Monet – Painting by the Edge of a Wood (1885)


John Lavery – The Principal Street at Grez (1884)

Emil Orlik – Max Slevogt an der Staffelei im Garten (Neukastell) (1917)

Winslow Homer – Artists Sketching in the White Mountains (1868)


Images from the Wikimedia Commons.            Commons is a freely licensed media file repository.

Artists have long painted outdoors, but in the mid-19th century working in natural light became particularly important to the Barbizon school and Impressionism. The popularity of painting en plein air increased in the 1870s with the introduction of paints in tubes (resembling modern toothpaste tubes). Previously, each painter made their own paints by grinding and mixing dry pigment powders with linseed oil. The Newlyn School in England is considered another major proponent of the technique in the latter 19th century.

It was during this period that the “Box Easel”, typically known as the French Box Easel or field easel, was invented. It is uncertain who developed it first, but these highly portable easels, with telescopic legs and built-in paint box and palette, made treks into the forest and up the hillsides less onerous. Still made today, they remain a popular choice even for home use since they fold up to the size of a brief case and thus are easy to store.

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)