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En plein air is a French expression which simply means painting “in the open air." In the 1800s, impressionists were particularly interested in the changing light of the outdoors. Capturing the essence of the scene quickly is the key, as the light changes as the sun moves across the sky. Here are a few galleries of Joan's en plein air paintings completed while on travel adventures and retreats with students in scenic regions of Italy, France and Northern Georgia. It’s all about the light and capturing the colors at that moment. Please browse the galleries below for a peek into the en plein air art process at past artist retreats and travel adventure. ***CLICK OR TOUCH PHOTO PHOTOS TO MOVE***

Monet's Gardens in Giverny, France and The Abby Reserve

The Abby Reserve is located a short stroll down the road from Monet’s home in Giverny, France. This magical place was a peaceful retreat location for the Monks in 15th Century! We spent many hours here painting various views en plein air. There was an aura here that is hard to describe in words, but was definitely felt.

"The Abbey Reserve"
"A Bridge in Monet's Garden"
"Monet's Garden"
"Row Boat in Monet's Pond"
Joan's students in Monet's Garden
The main alley to Monet's Garden

Frog Call Retreat: Dahlonega, Georgia 

Frog Call, a magical privately owned piece of secluded paradise, on 52 acres, borders the 

National Forest in Dahlonega, Georgia. The waterscape and surronding woods offered the perfect accommodations and scenery for our en plein air painting retreat.

Karen painting
Aleex painting near the pond.
Donna and Becky
"Frog Call"
Joan encouraging Judy and Aleex
Donna Faye

 Sicily, Tuscany & Umbria

Our travel adventure group flew to Italy to paint en plein air and absorb outstanding panoramic views, navigate undiscovered regions and capture the breathtaking vistas, rich culture, enduring traditions and peaceful spirit of Europe.

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