Why painting en plein air is booming

COVID has seen a mini boom for en plein air painting as we all re-evaluate the great outdoors. We talk to three artists who’ve doing it for decades and offer tips for joining the trend.

Amanda Penrose Hart started painting outdoors when she could no longer afford to keep her Sydney studio.

‘It was OMG this studio has to go! And it was like having my hand cut off. But then I started painting in my car. I would drive somewhere, and put my bum down somewhere in the shade and just look. Slowly it took over.’

‘Now I can just pick up my kit and go anywhere – to France or out bush. It is super portable and I have learnt how to find shade … and bad food,’ said Penrose Hart.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina