When I first started painting again as an adult a few years ago, the first workshop I took was a plein air workshop from Nashville artist, Anne Blair Brown. I had really never heard of plein air painting (or at least heard it called that) so I was intrigued. I love the outdoors and painting landscapes is my favorite subject matter, so I was immediately hooked. I was terrible at it, with all the wrong equipment and painting style at that time, but I stuck with it and now after a few years and many paintings and workshops later, I feel like it is a part of my painting life.
One of the many things I love about painting outside is the opportunity to connect with other artists and make what is normally a solitary experience (in the studio) into a social one. When reading my art publications with articles about plein air groups across the country, I realized we didn't have anything like that here in the Memphis area. So, I just decided to start one myself! I asked a few friends from other areas of the country how their groups are organized and got some great advice. I created the name, a website, a blog, and two Facebook pages and we now have a growing group of plein air artists here!
I have so enjoyed meeting other artists in my area and making new friendships! Each time we have had an outing, we have had new artists come who have not previously painted plein air before, which is so encouraging and exciting for me. One of my artist friends from Nashville, Kevin Menck, jokingly calls me the "Plein Air Spokes Model" because of a little video I did once, so I like to think I am spreading my love for plein air painting here in my own hometown! Since this group was formed in March, we have had several painting days on private properties in the area and also at public places. My hope is to continue introducing artists to plein air painting and also to encourage those who already enjoy it to join us when they can. I do feel it is one of the best things I can do for my own development as an artist, and I enjoy sharing these opportunities with other artists.
I have included some of the photos of PAM paint outs below! You can also see the website/blog by clicking on my "Blogs" link in my website header. Also, if you do not live here and are ever planning on being in the area, please contact me and come paint with Plein Air Memphis!