Painting outdoors (or plein aire) was popularized in the mid 19th century with the advent of portable paint in tubes. It was the latest, most radical departure from the standard academic practices at the time as it sought to represent the realities of contemporary life in the industrialize West in contrast to ideals still perpetuated in the academies and the tastes of the status quo. Pleinarism in many ways was the foundation of modernist painting.
In the 21st century, confronted with myriad new realities, a return to pleinairism once again may prove to be a radical departure from the currents in contemporary art practice. In contrast to the speed and “connectedness” of the technological age, pleinairism asserts the sovereignty of our attention and situates the painter directly in the context of the painting.
If we think of looking as a tactile experience, feeling textures, sensing the space between things and painting as a tactile act of touching, observational painting becomes a kind of synesthetic and reciprocal conversation with place. Place and people have always shaped each other, nature and culture are inextricably linked and when we engage with place, we also engage with ourselves and our common history with the natural world, in this workshop we will explore the concept that painting serves this mutual agency.
This course is informed by current discourse in mindfulness, ecology, phenomenological philosophy and contemporary art. The course will feature an introductory lecture about painting outdoors, its history and precedents, philosophical and social implications in todays context. There will also be daily group critiques on the progress of work as well as individual feedback and instruction (when requested). The structure of the workshop will be a brief daily meeting and proceeding to the locations being painted and painting all day. Each member of the workshop including me will endeavour to make two to three paintings during the course of the week. The emphasis will be on painting as an interaction with place and objects over longer periods of time through different light and weather conditions.
Prices are listed in Canadian Dollars and include daily lunch/snacks, relevant materials fees and any applicable taxes
Jeremy Herndl was born in BC and has lived across Canada and abroad. He earned a BFA in Fine Art at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1996 and earned a MAA in Painting at Emily Carr University in 2011. Jeremy’s work is found in private, corporate and public collections in Canada, USA and Europe. In the past several years Jeremy has received grants from The Canada Council, The BC Arts Council, The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation and The Brucebo Foundation.Click here to read more about JEREMY HERNDL
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