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In Plein Sight

Posted on Sep 01, 2013 in The Seaside Institute , Plein Air Workshop , September-October 2013

Plein air art by David Csont

Plein air is a French expression that means “in the open air” and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors.

The Seaside Institute offers homeowners and visitors of Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach (and all neighbors in between) a unique arts event that celebrates the beauty of Seaside and its people through plein air painting.

The term, en plein air, is a French phrase that simply translated means “in the open air” and has come to define the art of painting outdoors. The roots of plein air painting are found in 19th-century Europe when paints became available in tubes and allowed the artist to leave the studio and carry equipment to the location of their choice. English artist John Constable believed that artists should forget “formulas” and trust their own vision in finding truth in nature. Over the past 15 years, plein air painting has experienced resurgence in popularity due to the great connection made between the artist and his subject and potential patron.

According to the Plein Air Mt. Lebanon website, plein air painting is done on location, capturing the atmosphere of the moment. The majority of the painting must be completed on site with little to no work to be done in the studio. Most artists agree this is the true test of one’s skill as a painter as it requires complete confidence in placement of color and brushwork in a short amount of time. For example, a sunset may only last 30 to 40 minutes. That would be all the time the artist has to capture the scene.

Artists will be painting in and around Seaside in mid-October. And Saturday, Oct. 18, the opening will be held in the Seaside Institute Assembly Hall (the building adjacent to the Seaside Academic Village), where the paintings will be displayed and sold at a cocktail reception.

Proceeds from the sale of the paintings done in Seaside will go to the artists with a percentage

returning to the Seaside Institute. A percentage of the Rosemary and Alys Beach paintings will benefit those town’s foundations.

Visit The Seaside Institute online

Artist Dede Christopher