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Plein Air Painting

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I came of age as an artist with the sketching adventures I shared with my great friend, Jim Gurney, more than twenty years ago. I have been a firm believer that art is an adventure. One of an artist's most important missions is to explore God's creation, and to interpret that world in the light of our unique perceptions.

Plein Air painting presents special challenges to the artist…challenges that I relish. The painting is done in one sitting, in no more than a few hours, so it's necessary to trust your emotions and your immediate reactions. The painting becomes an evocation of the artist's relationship to a place, not a literal detailed portrayal of the place itself. My brushstrokes are free, energetic, bold; my color choices are poetic. I paint in searing heat and in bitter cold; wind my tear at my canvas; dust often mixes with my pigments. Clouds shift, shadows dance across the buttes and canyons, transforming them even as I work. An effect of light may last for moments only, and I have to try to catch the fleeting enchantment.

Plein Air paintings represent, for me, a trip down memory lane. You'll visit many of my favorite locales in the world, reminders of very special trips I've taken with Nanette and the girls. You will find heroic vistas of the American West, soaring European mountains, castles, harbors, crowded cities, and vast silent deserts. You will visit exotic locales and savor familiar scenes through my eyes.

This, in its infinite variety, is my world. But more important, this is our world…the common heritage bequeathed to each and all of us by a generous God. Enjoy

Thomas Kinkade

As I grew a little older, I took my paints outdoors as well. I began the practice of plein-air painting - which simply means painting on location, out of doors. I started with just a few brushes and a jar of turpentine and a couple of tubes of paint packed away in a satchel. Today I use a portable studio I designed myself - a lightweight box that holds my paints and canvas and folds up into an easel. I can even attach a little umbrella to protect me from sun or rain.
-Thomas Kinkade
from the book entitled, Simpler Times

I take my portable studio anywhere my feet can walk I have taken it to the desert, to the mountains, to New England villages and Irish Castles, to the streets of Paris and San Francisco. I've even set it up in my own backyard and painted while the children played around me and attempted a few dabs with paints themselves.
-Thomas Kinkade
from the book entitled, Simpler Times

Plein-air painting gives me an excuse to get outdoors. It gives me backgrounds and ideas for my paintings. But most important, it forces me to experience nature on its own terms. When I am painting a scene, I'm not just walking through it or skating through it or skiing down it. I am sitting for hours at a time, soaking it in, observing the details, breathing in the air, and listening to the sounds. I am becoming a part of the natural world and letting it become a part of me.
-Thomas Kinkade
from the book entitled, Simpler Times

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