Plein Air Is Anything but Plain

Connie Kotke, Publicity Chair

The SaddleBrooke Fine Arts Guild is launching a new plein air group for artists who enjoy painting or drawing outside in our unique and beautiful Southern Arizona landscape. During the cooler months, group members will meet for a few hours in the morning to practice their craft, share camaraderie, and provide helpful feedback. Members can join in as their schedule permits.

The practice of plein air goes back hundreds of years but became popular with French Impressionists, who wanted to capture the changing light of different times and seasons. Using portable easels with canvas, or simply a drawing journal, artists can enjoy the freedom to create in the open air.

“This is not a class,” said Mary Baum, coordinator of the new plein air group. “It’s a fun way to gather safely with others and let Mother Nature inspire you. While many plein air painters have specialized easels, beginners can simply put a board across the arms of their camp chair and work on a drawing pad until they get the hang of it.”

Two years ago, Mary moved to SaddleBrooke from Sonoma County, Calif., where there were lots of plein air painters. “I’d like to get this group off and running soon to take advantage of the cooler weather,” she said. For more information, send Mary an email at [email protected]

Membership in the SaddleBrooke Fine Arts Guild is only $25 per year and includes monthly meetings, open studio, non-critique sessions, opportunities to exhibit and sell your work, and so much more. Guild members enjoy a discount on classes. Space is limited, so register now at