Why Plein Air???
Plein Air painting is the process of the artist traveling to the location where they are to paint, bringing the tools to paint;including easel, brushes, paints, camera for reference, canvases, and all other necessities to create a work of art. Plein air painting tends to lend itself to smaller works, sometimes called 'studies', that can be used later to create larger works of art in the studio. The process of capturing a scene in plein air forces the artist to work quickly, since light changes quickly. The art created in this way can vary in style, loose or tight, depending on the artist's style. What is important that the artist do is be able to see and capture the important aspects of the scene quickly, and interpret it quickly.
Why?? The process of plein air painting is wonderful in that it allows the artist to quickly assess the colors and light of the day, which change moment to moment. A scene changes dramatically if the sun goes behind the clouds, for instance. It causes the artist to slow down, intensely observe her surroundings, and discern what he or she finds important, and appreciate the beauty of God's creation. The colors captured in plein air will be more accurate - not intensified or omitted the way photographs tend to capture your setting.
This approach to painting has been around a long time, as seen in the masters of old, like Monet, Sorolla, Manet, Degas and many many more, and continues on in the current generations.