Plein air painting is painting live, outdoors on location.
Plein air painters can paint in any medium and are not restricted to a particular style of painting. From a practical standpoint, plein air paintings are usually made in a few hours in order to capture the light before it changes, making plein air paintings particularly evocative of a sense of place, time and the emotion at the moment of creation.
The plein air movement has had several phases dating back to 19th century France and the advent of the paint tube, allowing paint to be stable and portable. In the United States, early plein air painting centered on the Hudson Valley and later in California. In recent years, the movement has spread from California across the United States, Canada, Europe, and to Curaçao.
Carlos Hiller, Costa rica.
In 1904, a man named Zarh H. Pritchard dove 65 feet in Tahiti and painted a piece with oil paints that were specially ground to be extra thick. Since then, underwater painters have captured the beauty of the oceans all over the world.
Painting underwater obviously has its challenges. Artists generally have less than an hour to complete a piece. Divers must be careful not to stir up the sand and sediment on the ocean floor, which would obscure the scene. Artists have to be particularly mindful of the potential impact of their presence and activity. The paint is used straight from the tubes and choice of colors is limited. Color perception is different underwater -- bright red may become a dull brown or black. Palette knives and fingers are used instead of brushes. The canvas must be covered with a waterproof adhesive coating. The canvas is washed thoroughly with fresh water after completion.
The clear azure-blue waters surrounding the island of Curaçao with the colorful marine life are perfect for painting underwater. Plein Eau Artists in Curaçao typically dive to depths of 2 - 20 ft.
In 2017 (the 4th edition of Plein Air Curacao Festival) we introduced " Plein Aerial ". Besides painting on land and underwater, painting sessions from high locations were included to the program.
Participating artists visited the Table mountain as a Plein Aerial paint out location where they had a unique view on the Spanish water, Santa Barbara resort, Caracasbaai and Jan Thiel.
Another Plein Aerial location is the Juliana bridge. This bridge is almost 60 meters high and has a spectacular 360-degree view of Punda, Otrabanda and the refinery.
For the extreme hikers and adventurous plein aerial artists among us, we invited artists to the highest point of Curacao, The Christoffel Mountain, which is 372 metres (1,220 ft) high and lies in the national park: Christoffelpark.