Plein Air painting, a term derived from the French phrase "en plein air," meaning "in the open air," is an art form that involves painting outdoors, often drawing inspiration from the surrounding landscape.

Origins of Painting Outside

The Plein Air approach is widely credited to artist John Constable, but from around 1860 it became an essential technique for impressionist painters, who's goal was to capture light. 

The invention of paints in tubes in the 1870s revolutionised the practice, liberating artists from the studio setting. Before this innovation, artists painstakingly created their own paints by grinding dry pigment powders with linseed oil, a laborious process confined to the studio. The introduction of paint tubes allowed artists to break free and paint in the open air.

Benefits Beyond the Canvas

Plein Air painting offers a range of benefits beyond the mere act of artistic creation. Painting outdoors establishes a profound connection between artists and nature, fostering a serene and inspiring environment. The ever-shifting interplay of light, colours, and textures in the open presents a dynamic and inspiring backdrop, prompting artists to refine their observational skills and capture scenes in real-time.

Furthermore, the documented positive effects of spending time outdoors on mental well-being are seamlessly woven into the Plein Air painting experience. It becomes a form of meditation, a harmonious convergence of artistic expression and is just generally a lovely peaceful experience!

Nature, Art and Music

Plein Air painting's influence extends beyond the canvas, inspiring other art forms. The Impressionists, as an example, significantly influenced music. Renowned composers like Claude Debussy drew inspiration from the outdoor painting movement, translating its emphasis on atmosphere and emotion into mesmerising musical compositions.

Paintvine in the Park

At Paintvine, we love the art of Plein Air painting! It's a celebration of the connection between art and the natural world, providing the perfect excuse to enjoy kiwi summer vibes. So, pack a picnic, bring your own wine and snacks, book your tickets, and join us for our popular Paintvine in the Park events.

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