Thursday, April 14, 2011

What Does Plein Air Colorado Mean?

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the meaning of the title of my Blog, “Plein Air Colorado.”

The term “En Plein Air” is French for, “In the open air.” Plein air painting was a movement started by French impressionist painters in the mid 19th century who enjoyed painting in the out of  doors. The movement was largely made possible by the invention of paint in tubes, as opposed to having to grind pigments from minerals and other ingredients. Plein air painters take their easel, canvas and palette into the field and create finished paintings, usually in one sitting. Imagine dealing with changing light and weather conditions, not the least of which is wind, to create great paintings of our natural world. What a challenge it must be to keep blowing dust and debris, and errant rain drops from spoiling your painting.

Today, outdoor photographers must deal with the same types of environmental conditions that the Plein Air artist has to deal with. Wind, rain, snow, and other weather conditions all contribute to the challenges and in many cases the dramatic images that are captured through the photographic process. My tripod is my easel, my cameras and lenses are my brushes and  my digital files are my canvases.

I feel very much at home in the mountains, whether it’s mountain climbing, mt, biking, hiking to high lakes to fish or just getting out to wet a line and chase some trout around a stream or river with a fly rod. All of these pursuits are best shared with friends either physically while doing them or through writings and photographs taken while out alone exploring.

This is the reason for this Blog, to share my experiences exploring and recreating in the mountains. It is my hope that you will be inspired to get out and take advantage of the natural world around you no matter where you live.

Tight lines my friends and happy and safe adventures to you.


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