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Old 03-29-2017, 01:23 PM
Jinglebob Jinglebob is offline
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Question Time spent on Plein air work

This question may have been addressed some where else but here goes. I have been doing Plein air painting for about six months and have often wondered how much of the painting has to be done outside or should be done outside. I see no standards. Even in Plein air magazine the work is all over the place as how much time has been put into the painting. Many seem to have spent a great deal of time "finishing off," their painting at home. I know this is an honor thing but it would be helpful and honest when entering shows to know that at least 50% or 70% etc. of the work was actually done on the site. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-29-2017, 05:24 PM
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Re: Time spent on Plein air work

It's very common that PA work is polished up in the studio.

Doug
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Old 03-29-2017, 06:57 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Time spent on Plein air work

As you have probably found with google there are no accepted standards as to what makes a painting a plein air piece. To keep oneself from becoming a prevaricator it would be wise to work on it at least a portion of the piece on location, outdoors. Beyond that it is up to the artist on how much studio work they want to do on it.

However, when it comes to shows and events, most of them have a set of rules to be followed and some are very strict saying it must be 100% done on location, others less so. The least restrictive I have looked at participating in allows a max of 25% studio work. They don't specify if that is per square inch or a time related percentage.

I heard a story from several reputable sources about a fairly well known plein air event less than 4 years ago that didn't have a very strict set of rules and was not monitored. According to those telling the tale, one of the participants who is a relatively famous plein air painter, spent almost the ENTIRE TIME in their motel room. None of the artists there ever saw them leave their room for the week long event, nor were they spotted painting en plein air. Their car sat in the parking lot for most of the time. They won some awards and sold a bunch of paintings.
Nobody chose to rat them out.

This thread of mine on WC was created when I had similar questions to yours but more related to shows and events.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show....php?t=1420321
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Old 03-29-2017, 07:57 PM
DaveCrow DaveCrow is offline
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Re: Time spent on Plein air work

Most competitions will specify how much of the work they expect to be done en plein air, and whether or not the use of photography is allowed.

As for your own work, that is a matter for your own conscience. I will note that many paintings begun plein air are finished in the studio, even if it is only a little final polishing.
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:06 PM
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Re: Time spent on Plein air work

For plein-air my intent is to do the entire piece outdoors in front of the subject. I feel that if I must I can do this in several sessions and I know of some others who paint for weeks, always with the light just so for an hour.

That said, I will do some rework after the fact if the piece needs and deserves it and sometimes that will be done in the studio, in my car or at another painting site.

...and having said that there are times when I set out to only start a pen & wash piece plein-air with the intention of finishing it at home. This is when I'm far from home and need a number of pieces. By doing this my motel and meal expenses are greatly reduced. I make no claims that this is plein-air work however... and no one has asked.

Yes I know there are those who "cheat" at events and organizers who "wink" wanting only sellable art... but I also know there are buyers who do not know what plein-air means and having been told don't care.

Dave
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Old 03-30-2017, 11:56 PM
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Jon Bradley Jon Bradley is offline
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Re: Time spent on Plein air work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinglebob
how much of the painting has to be done outside or should be done outside. I see no standards.

However much you find pertinent to the creative process--there are no "standards", unless it's a specific competition or something (rare).

To take it away from the black and white answer and closer to the art side of it, there's always an energy and vision you have when pulled to a scene, and sometimes photos can help and are very necessary, and other times they're worse than useless.

Whatever works!
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Old 04-06-2017, 05:53 PM
bartc bartc is offline
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Re: Time spent on Plein air work

Alla prima vs. en plein air.
Unless it's in a contest rule, who really cares? it's your painting and it's your time and method.
But I prefer to do it alla prima - all at once - and since I start mostly plein air, that's where I finish it. It's not that I don't study it to see what I might have done differently. Just a personal preference not to touch up a painting (OK, I've done it on rare occasions, but nobody was watching! LOL)
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Old 04-07-2017, 04:35 PM
old_hobbyist old_hobbyist is offline
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Re: Time spent on Plein air work

IMHO, there are several levels of PA.
Pics that are painted and completed entirely at one sitting (viz, alla prima) and entirely on site (100%) and have NO modifications/enhancements.
Ptgs that are painted entirely on site (100%) but over several days (Monet is good example)
Ptgs that are sketches (1-2 h efforts) meant entirely as starting points for larger studio efforts that are further enhanced/supplemented by fotos taken at the actual site
Ptgs that begin as PA but eventually are completed (<50%) in studio (sometimes called 'touch-up").
Ptgs that begin as PA sketches but are entirely painted over (>50%) or created in studio.
At this year's Plein Air Conference and Exo in San Diego, I will ask Eric Rhoads, the organizer, specifically what he considers a Plein Air painting to be.
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:53 AM
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Alerio Alerio is offline
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Re: Time spent on Plein air work

Quote:
Originally Posted by old_hobbyist
...At this year's Plein Air Conference and Exo in San Diego, I will ask Eric Rhoads, the organizer, specifically what he considers a Plein Air painting to be.
Please do! I'd love to hear his response.

But of course, unless it is a contest, it doesn't really matter. After 2 or 3 hours the light has changed enough so that you are just making stuff up anyway after that point.
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:58 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Time spent on Plein air work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alerio
After 2 or 3 hours the light has changed enough so that you are just making stuff up anyway after that point.

A true fact that. (love that goofy phrase. As opposed to 'false' facts I guess?) Sometimes the light is gone in well under half an hour....
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