Summer Plein Air Painting

Bring art outside this summer by painting plein air!

Summer is here! Time for pool parties, barbecues, trips to the beach or mountains — or maybe somewhere even more exciting! Why not record your memories of these happy summer days not with a snapshot, but with a painting? Pack up all your art supplies and head to the great outdoors!

Painting en plein air (French for "in the open air") truly gained in popularity in the mid-to-late 1800’s, coinciding with the development of some of our favorite art supplies today, including French easels, easel accessories, and pre-mixed oil or watercolor paints available in tubes (previously artists ground their own pigments to mix paints from scratch — not a very convenient practice outdoors!).

The Impressionist artists were especially enamored of plein air painting: reflecting the mutable, changing effects of light over a landscape was the epitome of achievement for many artists like Monet, Renoir, and Pissarro. Don’t be intimidated — you too can capture a moment en plein air in any medium you wish: watercolors, acrylics, oils, even pencil and pastel!

Watch plein air painter Mike Rooney explain some handy tips and tricks for painting outdoors!

Some great supplies for plein air painting:

So whether you’re taking a trip or enjoying a "staycation," whip out those paints and brushes and capture this summer’s best moments by painting en plein air!


It's ARTY time

It's ARTY time!
Please join in our fun game, you can comment right on this page!

Sometimes, when the heat is oppressive ( like now :-) ) or you're suffering from a creative block, it's good to take a little time out and just be silly! We've all had those times where no matter what, the image or idea we're trying to get across in our art is just not cooperating: and the harder we try, the worse the outcome seems to get.

Often, the best way to deal with these instances is simply not to. Leave your painting, your sculpture, your drawing — before you rip it to pieces in frustration — and focus on something else for a while. Sure, you could get some chores done... or you could be silly with us!

The silly subject

The silly subject we're focusing on at Jerry's Artarama today is word games; or plays on the word "ART." Here are some of the ones we've come up with so far!

Some of our fun ones, what's yours?

  • ART-tastic!
  • I'm having an ART attack!
  • I ♥ART♥ you!
  • Excuse me, I ARTed
  • ART and soul
  • Take another little piece of my ART now, baby
  • What's a pirate's favorite subject? AAARRRRT!

...It may sound corny, but games like this can be a fun break when you're struggling with a creative block!

Go on, give it a shot — what kind of silly ART phrases can you come up with? (enter them in the comments box below)


My life is art. Art is my life.

Being an artist isn't just about putting pencil to paper, or brush to canvas. Art can and does mean so much more than that, to so many people. Art is a way of seeing the world, a way of expression, oftentimes a compulsion: we simply must create!

Art may be a way to explore your world or your imagination. Art may inspire a beginning painter to take steps into learning a new medium, or an accomplished artist to experiment with a new technique. Art is teaching, art is learning. Art can be exciting, empowering, and an expression of love.

Art can be a challenge: both frustrating and rewarding at the same time, leading to a sense of accomplishment — or a determination to do more. Art can be a message: of politics, of peace, of brutality or beauty. Art can be an escape, an idealization, or simply a means of play. Art can be anything and everything you let it be!

So pick up that pencil, that paintbrush, that pastel, and let art take you where it will. Explore and experiment, do something different: draw a picture upside-down, paint en plein air, try a new medium you think you hate, make a collaborative piece with a fellow artist — push your boundaries! Art is a way to grow as a person, so take advantage!

What does art mean to you? Is it a hobby, a business, a journey, a passion — all of the above? At Jerry’s Artarama art supplies, art is our life. Come join us!

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