Plein Air Live - Kelly Kane with Skip Whitcomb, Matt Smith, and Bill Anton
Kelly Kane with Skip Whitcomb, Matt Smith, and Bill Anton

In an exclusive panel discussion during the 4th Annual Plein Air Live, Kelly Kane, Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir Magazine, interviewed living legends Skip Whitcomb, Matt Smith, and Bill Anton on their experiences as plein air painters, including their “a-ha moments.”

“One of the biggest challenges of outdoor painting is not having control over your environment: light, wind, temperature, etc.,” said Matt in the Plein Air Live chat. “Once you learn to embrace that the focus moves back to the process.”

In addition to this exclusive and fascinating discussion, attendees were able to participate in a faculty art auction, including works by Anna Rose Bain, Mark Shasha, and more.

Here are some more favorite moments from this year’s Plein Air Live:

Pastel painter Jacob Aguiar led an outdoor demonstration on working through the challenges of quickly changing light when painting on location.

From Jacob Aguiar’s demo
From Jacob Aguiar’s demo

Christine Lashley showed us tips and techniques to create a dynamic night painting. “There are different ways to do this,” she said, “with sketches on location or even just working from photos and taking it back to your studio.”

From Christine Lashley’s Plein Air Live demo
From Christine Lashley’s demo

“Critiquing is one of the most important things I do as an instructor,” said Kathleen Dunphy during her special plein air critique session. She added that it’s important to remember, however, that an art critique is just an (educated) opinion. She said to take a critique seriously, to listen to it, and then decide what aspects you want to apply to your painting.

Kathryn Stats also led us through a critique session that included a variety of painting levels. She said she uses her hand to cover different parts of a painting to help determine what composition elements work.

The next Plein Air Live takes place in one year, but you don’t have to wait that long to join many of your fellow painters, including today’s best teachers. Join us in person at the Plein Air Convention & Expo in Denver, Colorado, May 21-25, 2023. Celebrity guest Jane Seymour will be there, and Lori Putnam is leading the pre-convention workshop. There are 4 stages and over 80 instructors. Will you be there?


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