New Year’s Greeting, A Focus, and My Appreciation for John G. Rand

Happy New Year to everyone!  May 2015 be your best year ever, full of happiness, health and good fortune!

A resolution I have is to work on this blog, and I have decided to focus my blog on plein air painting.  I knew I needed some direction, and since I am so passionate about painting outside, it makes sense to concentrate on it.  I want to share my passion with others and educate them.  It is a painting practice that some artists have never attempted, and if I can inspire people to take the plunge and give it a try, then I will be proud to have helped others to carry on the time honored tradition.  So, a little trivia for today…

Plein air painting is the act of painting outside, on location, from life.  It is a French phrase that means “in the open air”.  Plein air painting might never have grown into the movement that it is today were it not for American artist John G. Rand in 1841.  What did he do that revolutionized the painting world?  He invented the collapsible metal tube for storing and transporting paint!  Today, we take these tubes for granted, but back then they were new and provided a convenience that had not been realized before.  Prior to their invention, artists were confined to their studios where they had to grind pigments and mix them with linseed oil.  If they wanted to go anywhere else, they had to put the paint in a pig’s bladder.  To get it out they had to poke a hole in the bladder with a tack, and then seal it up with the same tack.  This worked, but bladders could rip and leak and were difficult to fill.  Rand’s metal tubes allowed artists to escape the confines of their studios and work on site.  Impressionists were now free to pursue their passion for capturing the effects of light on the world around them.  Thank you, Mr. Rand.  I am so grateful I don’t have to put my paint in a pig’s bladder.

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