The Return of Plein Air Magazine

by Sarah Judson March 07, 2011

Eric Rhodes published the original Plein Air magazine from 2004-06, when it became Fine Art Connoisseur. “Of course the moment we changed the magazine we began hearing from readers who wanted us to continue publishing PleinAir™,” Eric remembers. “Because I had a passion for outdoor painting, I resolved to find a way to bring it back.” The one thing Eric was missing at the time was an editor who was just as passionate, determined, and -- perhaps -- crazy as he was. He met up with that editor when he and his friend Steve Doherty hauled their easels and painting gear out to an island in the middle of the Ausable River where Asher B. Durand (1796 - 1886), Harrison Byrd Brown (1831-1915) and other great artists painted landscapes of the Ausable Chasm (shown here, Steve's painting, above, and the same view by Harrison Byrd Brown, below) . At the time, Steve was working for American Artist magazine and didn’t anticipate making a career change, but within a month his situation changed and he was ready to end a 32-year, three-hour-a-day commute to New York City. Steve spent five months writing articles about both contemporary and historic plein air painters, gathering photographs of organized groups of plein air painters from Connecticut to California, and researching historic photographs of 19th and 20th century plein air painters. The first issue of the new Plein Air Magazine is now available. It is being published not only in print but also in a digital edition, supported by an ever-changing website and frequently updated e-newsletter. “When you are passionate about the subject, you want to immediately know about plein air festivals, gallery and museum exhibitions, sales records at recent events, new materials and techniques, and gifted artists around the world,” Eric explains. “We are sharing that information as quickly as we receive it.”

Sarah Judson
Sarah Judson


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