3. It's [usually**] "alla prima." All Prima simply means "wet into wet," which in oil painting means it is done in one sitting, without letting subsequent layers dry in between. This is a different style of painting which requires it's own level of appreciation. Painting in layers is a beautiful way to capture depth in a painting and has been the traditional practice for centuries. When an artist paints "alla prima," he or she must make decisions slightly differently, considering any underpainting will likely come through and there will be only a single layer of wet paint. Alla prima paintings do have a different look to them than layered oil paintings, and I think both are beautiful.
4. In my opinion, we are enjoying a particularly marvelous "rennaissance" of plein air art RIGHT NOW in America. There are many incredible living artists blowing my mind (and I love that modern technology allows us to follow their careers and lives real time, despite being thousands of miles away). A great way to peruse them is to search Plein Air Painting associations. A few of them are: Plein Air Painters of America, California Plein Air Painters (there does seem to be one for almost every state), and Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters. Honestly, if there is a particular landscape you are fond of, google the region with "plein air painters" after, and there is a high likelihood there is an organization in that area. It's a great way to find regional art.
5. (If you are in Jacksonville, FL) We have local plein air artists as well! In Jacksonville, the association is called First Coast Plein Air Painters, and they are always doing a lot of neat things right here in the Bold City. Many of the artists sell work on their individual websites, some right off the easel, but often times there are "wet paint" sales in conjunction with group paint outs. (There is one March 24-25, 2018 at the Jacksonville Arboretum).
6. French easels and box easels enabled outdoor painting to become a much more popular thing. Now, there are many great different options for gear, enabling even young artists like me to enjoy a wealth of tools to explore. I use Art Box and Panel, and love it. I have a bag always packed with paints and solvents, panels (these are pretty expensive but WORTH IT), a wet panel carrier, an umbrella (to provide consistent shade on my easel as well as rain, as was the case this weekend), and essentials such as rags, bug spray, a hat, and sunscreen.
I hope when you look at art, you begin to notice how much plein air art is growing in the market today. It's beautiful, fleeting, spontaneous, and unpredictable, and a genre I hope you can appreciate. Please hit "reply" or comment below with any of your favorite artists!
Until next time!
*(On a personal note, when my now-husband first asked me out, he had just been at Epworth for a retreat, and came to visit me after it was done. That was the last time he was there, and I had never been before. It was sweet to see where he built up the nerve to finally make that move, now that we have been married for almost 7 years. He also showed up that day in Fourth of July women's thrift store clothing, I suppose the theme of the final events. It was quite the first impression to my parents).
** Many of "Haystacks" were not "wet into wet." but that's why I said plein air is "usually" alla prima :). It doesn't have to be! It just often times is.