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The Benefits of Painting Outside - En Plein air

So, it seems that Summer has finally arrived! When the sun is shining it lifts one’s mood, energizes and inspires, makes you want to be outside in the sun’s rays and the fresh air.

For artists who spend most of their time in a studio, taking their easels outside when the weather permits can encourage creativity. The change of scenery, the sounds of nature and the summer scents can be inspirational. After so many months of being cooped up inside it is also a wonderful way to boost positive mental health.

Painting “En plein air “, the French phrase meaning “in the open air”, refers to the style of painting artists were taught during the 19th Century. Today, many artists still favor painting landscapes in situ.

You don’t have to be a professional artist to enjoy this pastime though, anyone can! Hobbyists and budding artists alike should be encouraged to take a sketchbook into the garden, on day trips or even to a café with a coffee. There are many travel sized paint sets out there but just a selection of water colour pencils would suffice. Enjoyable for all ages, it would also make a wonderful family activity.

So, next time you visit the seaside with your partner, go for a picnic with the family or enjoy a solitary walk in the countryside be sure to take a sketchpad, let the outside inspire you and have a go at painting “En plein air”!

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