In Focus: Plein Air Painting Takes Artists Out Of Their Element
Plein air painting involves the artists embracing the great outdoors to have a tangible connection with what they’re trying to bring to life. Some Bagley area painters are getting a little bit out of their element by going into the elements.
Through her lessons with Hungarian painter Bela Petheo, Duluth-based artist Arna Rennan has created a style all her own.
She’s passing along her technique of starting with a bold, exaggerated underpainting before refining it – jokingly referred to as the “velvet Elvis effect.”
Jane Freeman, one of the class participants, wasn’t so sure how it was going to turn out. As a water color artist, she’s conditioned to do the exact opposite.
But Rennan wants the women to fight the urge to over correct. Instead, she wants them to finish the impressionism landscapes within a two-hour time span.
Deb Carlson says she’s typically a very slow, meticulous painter and works under very controlled conditions – essentially the opposite of how you need to be when trying plein air. As a middle and high school art teacher, Carlson is taking it all in and enjoying being a student again.
By expanding their horizons, Rennan has given each of them a new perspective on the world around us.
By standing shoulder-to-shoulder with experts and beginners, they are able to see things that they didn’t before. It’s what makes a class like this invaluable. Even those just starting out can contribute to the experience.