En plein air (French pronunciation: [ɑ̃ plɛn ɛʁ]) is a French expression which means "in the open air" and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors, which is also called peinture sur le motif ("painting of the object(s) or what the eye actually sees") in French. It has its roots in the Impressionist movement (late 1800s) with Monet & Van Gogh but can be dated earlier with the Romantic Period (early 1800s) with Constable.
With the onset of Spring, my painting buddy Jacquie Mather and I decided to dust off the plein air box and get out among the vines to paint. Plein air has a long tradition in Australia ( with the Australian Impressionist painters Tom Roberts & Arthur Streeton) and is still firmly held as an important part of an artist's practice. It is both challenging and rewarding when you can capture the essence of the landscape through a mere stroke of the brush or drawing line.
Here a few photos from our recent sojourn up to Mount View. A wonderful day spent with my buddy over looking the Valley - just need to remember the sun brolly next time as the sun gave us a few more kisses than we would like! I intend on working these sketches up to larger paintings.