Hot Sun or Cold Wind. Paintbrush In Hand.

Who stands in the hot sun or cold wind for hours, or tolerates rain and snow to paint? Plein air artists, that’s who. Using an outdoor easel, paints, and brushes, Plein air artists strive to capture the spirit and essence of a landscape or subject before them.

From a French expression meaning “in the open air,” Plein air painting refers to the act of painting outdoors. Several of the gallery’s artists are known for their Plein air paintings. Enjoy these images of them at work in their “outdoor studio,” as well as the finished piece. Be sure to contact us with your questions about any of the art seen here or on our website. Our art consultants look forward to hearing from you.



Shifting light or a change in climate means every aspect of a scene is constantly changing. Simplification, stylization, and quick decision making must be learned and employed to create a successful outdoor painting.



Many artists view Plein air painting as a “natural classroom,” where one becomes skilled at depicting color and atmosphere, rapidly and accurately.



This reactionary style of painting distills the imagery, infusing it with an energy and sense of spontaneity, not always seen in works created and finished in a studio setting.



Plein air artist are committed to painting from life, regardless of the challenges. This dedication allows collectors and art lovers the opportunity to enjoy this vibrant and dynamic style of painting.


Green Acres on location
Green Acres – 12×16


Have you or someone you know ever wanted to get out and paint? Two of our Plein air artists are teaching workshops this fall. Attend yourself or give as a gift.


Stephen Day will be teaching “Landscape Painting Essentials” at our Santa Fe location from September 11-13, 2020. With daily demonstrations focusing on values, drawing, edges, and color, individual time will be spent with each student. Stephen is a firm believer that painting is learned by doing, so come ready to paint!


Peggy Immel will be teaching “Painting Autumn Colors” at our Durango location from October 9-11, 2020. Learn how to easily and successfully capture fall colors in your landscapes. Explore an approach to color value and perspective, that will aid in understanding and achieving the effects of atmosphere and light in your paintings.