Plein Eire

Your Site For Artists Who Paint Outdoors

This thread is just a succession of bits and pieces picked up on the radar to do with plein air painting that may interest you. It may give you a laugh, kick off another discussion thread on some topic or another or be that gem of information you had been looking for.

Not exactly a 'smorgasbord', perhaps, but at least a bag of crisps, a mars bar and a glass of flat TK lemonade....mmm!

"With the economy flat, difficult or pragmatic decisions are having to be made. For artists, painting sales are harder to attain than in the last several years. Many stick to their day jobs while yearning for the freedom to become full-time artists upon retirement.
But for those wondering how to manage without what they used to call 'an allowance' or maybe a ministerial pension in early middle-age, or now contemplating the postponement of retirement until 68, here is a heartening and interesting story...."
Michael Vires

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Kevin Macpherson tours his 'Reflections on a Pond' exhibition.

Burning Bond-Holders!?

Here's how one plein air artist expresses his opinion....

If you want to skip the fiscal babble and hyperbole, click on the video to 13 minutes in for the interview with artist Gerry Schaeffer.

Ever wondered what it would be like to participate in a competitive US outdoor painting competition?

For Sergio Lopez' inside track on the Carmel Art Festival plein air event....

'No Pasaran' : The art police run Scott Burdick and Susan Lyons out of Barcelona:

I heard of Michael Richardson and Ken Howard both being 'moved along' in the London City of Westminster.

Any more stories of official intolerance to painting outdoors?

I wondered when I was in Valencia recently why there were no artists out painting in such a beautiful place - but then I found both Barcelona and Valencia a very un-friendly place to be !

That's really too bad.  Ireland gets the prize for the most friendly place to paint, and be for that matter!

Taken from the excellent newsletter of artist Robert Genn.

I recommend you Google and subscribe. It keeps me going in the dark hours...

Green therapy

 July 23, 2013


Dear Plein Eire Members,

In 1984, Edward O. Wilson introduced the "Biophilia hypothesis." His idea was that there's an instinctive bond between humans and other living systems--animals, plants, etc. Leaning on the earlier work of Erich Fromm, Wilson defined Biophilia as "the urge to affiliate with other forms of life."


More recently, Bob Stone, a researcher in Birmingham, UK, has done some amazing experiments in hospitals and nursing homes. He puts large flat-screen terminals near patients' beds. The 24-hour imagery on these screens mimics the actual time of day, including sunrise and sunset. The scene might be a fairly static beach or woodland view with the occasional passage of birds or animals. Audio completes the picture.


Guess what? Patients cheer up, become more alert and engaged, have lower blood pressure, and act happier. Believe it or not, this phony environment even works a bit better than pushing people out into familiar gardens in wheelchairs.


In another experiment, this time in the USA, children with ADHD were subjected to actual greenery. Measurable amounts of calm, focus and improved concentration followed after about 20 minutes. They're calling it "Green therapy."


Plein air painters have known about this sort of thing for some time. The "event" of outdoor work somehow soothes the savage breast--after a couple of hours even problematic people can be positively mellow. As an antidote to the sweaty anxiety that many painters have in their studios, green therapy calms and centers quicker and cheaper than a Zen master. Brilliant for the artist's soul; over time it also improves quality.


I know of sunless painters who toil below screaming projectors and dictated deadlines. I've shouted down their stairways to get them out and into the greenery. Funnily, in a world of rugged individualists, it's probably fear that keeps them in their caves. Like the old folks of Birmingham, they get some sustenance from their reference material. Back in the UK, one lady, bedridden and virtually silent for two years, was totally perked up by her seaside-mimicking terminal. "Get my hat," she called out. "I need to take a bus to the sea. Is there a bus?"


Best regards,




PS: "Unlike phobias, which are the aversions and fears people have of things in the natural world, philias (such as Biophilia) are the attractions and positive feelings that people have toward certain habitats, activities, and objects in their natural surroundings." (Edward O. Wilson)


Esoterica: I'm laptopping you from a sport-fishing boat off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Over the inter-boat radio, my buddies are completely concerned with fish. Back at the lodge, dinner-table conversations can be positively fishy. Captains of industry, these guys hardly mention their offices or factories. I'm the only one supplementing fishing with painting. My advice: Take a bus to the sea while you still can. Hey, gotta go, there's a coho on my line.


FYI, last year I took some green therapy in the same spot. If you're interested, you can read about it and see pictures here.


Australian Plein Air Painters taken from Australian TV Channel ABC.

Well worth a look.

Good video!  Thanks for sharing, Tony.

John Kelly - Australian artist living in Ireland paints Antarctica.!prettyPhoto

Here is an interesting article on the need to paint fast outdoors :

Here's some advice on painting outdoors from the USA:

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