The recent Plein Air Live conference was an event to remember, and it wasn’t just for working artists. During the four days of back-to-back sessions hosted by Eric Rhoads and Kelly Kane, hundreds of artists had front row seats to a personal studio tour with Clyde Aspevig, educational art critiques by C.W. Mundy, access to a faculty auction only for attendees, the Plein Air Salon awards and our latest Lifetime Achievement award, as well as dozens of step-by-step painting demonstrations by today’s master landscape painters.

Here’s what you may have missed, but know that you can join us in August for Pastel Live! Art collectors, gallery owners, and artists alike will benefit from the tremendous about of information and the incredible networking that takes place.

Painting Critiques by C.W. Mundy

C.W. Mundy Critique Session

Attendees had the incredible opportunity to subject their paintings to be considered for a critique, which was given by C.W. Mundy.

Inspired by a Biblical verse, C.W. first expressed that he wanted to be encouraging because one’s art is so personal.

“We have a great connection with it,” he said. “This is just C.W. Mundy, and there’s objectivity and subjectivity in doing these critiques.”

A Look at the History of Plein Air Painting

Jean Stern

Jean Stern, Director Emeritus of the Irvine Museum, returned to Plein Air Live to share an educational lecture on the early history of plein air painters, including little-known facts about their early methods and insights into the styles of Romanticism and Luminism.

He asks, is luminism still alive and well? The answer is a resounding yes, as we can see in the works of some of our very own Plein Air Live faculty.

State of Plein Air Roundtable Discussion

In a highly anticipated roundtable, Kelly Kane hosted a discussion with three prominent members of the plein air community: Lillian Ainsley, Suzie Baker, and Catherine Hoke. They covered everything from pre-pandemic plein air life to the recent hardships on artists and the organizations that support them, and the “secret sauce” of groups that are succeeding in growth. All in all, the future looks bright!

Roundtable Discussion: Lillian Ainsley, Suzie Baker, Catherine Hoke moderated by Kelly Kane
Roundtable Discussion: Lillian Ainsley (lower right), Suzie Baker (lower left), Catherine Hoke (top right) moderated by Kelly Kane (top left)

Lifetime Achievement Award Given to Joe Anna Arnett

“I look back at a lifetime of achievement, a lifetime of happiness, and a lifetime of joy,” said Joe Anna Arnett during her Lifetime Achievement Award presentation from Eric. We saw a touching documentary about Joe Anna’s life, and she shared inspiring words to encourage the rest of us. Congratulations, Joe Anna ~ very well deserved!

Joe Anna Arnett Lifetime Achievement Award
Joe Anna Arnett Lifetime Achievement Award

Studio Tour With Clyde Aspevig

American landscape painter Clyde Aspevig took us on an educational and intimate tour of his beautiful studio space, sharing his paintings and his inspiration behind them. During the tour of his works, he also explained how to read a painting, whether it’s abstract or representational.

Part of his presentation included insights into his 6×10-foot painting of an area that is very dear to his heart: “I want the viewer to get a sense of this open landscape that still has a feeling of immense vastness that really was a part of how this country was developed,” he said. “It was such immensity, such an immense amount of possibilities of what we were going to do with this landscape. Now we have a piece of it that literally hasn’t been torn apart and destroyed, and I hope that part of it comes through in the pristineness.”

Clyde Aspevig: Presentation
Clyde Aspevig: Presentation

10th Annual Plein Air Salon Awards Ceremony

Last, but far from least, we held the 10th Annual Plein Air Salon Awards Ceremony, where
Lori Putnam won the Grand Prize – $15,000 and the cover of Plein Air Magazine – for her oil painting, “Safe Harbor.” Watch the full ceremony at

Lori Putnam - Plein Air Salon winner

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