Plein air painting comes from the word “open air” in french, meaning the entire painting is conceived and executed on location. For centuries artists have been painting en plein air primarily using this method as a source for larger studio landscapes. The Impressionist painters of the late 19th century shocked the art world by presenting their outdoor work as the finished piece. Since then artists around the world have enjoyed sharing their plein air work as a fully valid finished pieces.
The magic and spark of plein air comes from the artist’s response to the intensity of color, light, the elements, the temperature, wind, humidity, the challenge of bugs and changing light. Painting en plein air is an intense experience that requires immense concentration and quick reactions. A landscape caught from this exhilarating experience often has a freshness and liveliness that can’t be achieved in the studio.
Plein Air Painters of Oregon was established as a non-profit organization in July of 2003. The purpose of PAPO is to share a love of painting out-of-doors in Oregon with like minded people. This is accomplished primarily by providing an organized environment for dedicated painters – both professional and emerging – to participate regularly in scheduled group paint outs around the state. At each paint out, participants enjoy group reviews to foster an exchange of ideas and techniques. PAPO also strives to develop public awareness of plein air painting through various endeavors, including support of member plein air art shows, the written word and community involvement.