This spring, MMoA is thrilled to announce the formation of a new studio program. Howard Park will be inspiring and educating students in the exciting practice of Plein Air Painting. For those who are curious, plein air is a French term meaning “in the open air” and simply means painting outdoors. Since the 19th Century, artists have enjoyed the freedom that comes when the confines of a dark studio are removed and the outdoors becomes the classroom. Once considered revolutionary, today working on location is encouraged and assumed for true landscape artists. Once experienced, many plein air painters contend that something is lost when a painting of the outside world derives solely from a photograph. That it just doesn’t convey the experience of actually being there. What better way to recharge after a long winter then to feel the light on your face and fresh air in your lungs as you paint our beautiful local landscape. There are many benefits of painting en plein air. One of the greatest advantages is that all of your senses become engaged. Sight, smell, sound and touch are simultaneously involved. Your painting becomes a personal response to the subject. Whereas painting from an image has a more calculated response, painting 3 dimensional life brings in an element of human emotion. Additionally, because painting outdoors requires keen observational skills and quick decision making, artists can exponentially increase their ability to naturally and accurately record what they see. Whether you are an accomplished artists or just learning, we welcome you to enjoy the company of others and bask in the sun as you learn the techniques for painting the glory of Mystic en Plein Air.