After such gloomy posts about the death of the plein air movement, I thought long and hard about a solution; it seems like complaining without offering a solution is wrong. So I spent months ruminating over the issue and began developing a new concept for plein air competitions. It is a concept I call “La Pintura”, a new way of creating and running plein air competitions that reduces the negative effect of market forces and puts the plein air artist at the center of all considerations.
You can read the full details on the website where I have posted a full concept paper but the basic guiding principle is that the artist is never required to pay any fees or to share his profits with the organizers. Further, housing, food, and local transportation would always be provided during the competition if requested. Fundraising is not put on the back of the artist but on the back of the organizers who will seek funding entirely from the community of donors and patrons and through grants.
If you are plein air professional, either a painter, an organizer, or a fundraiser, please read the La Pintura concept paper, read through the FAQs, and the rest of the content on the website, and give me your feedback. I think you will see that La Pintura can inspire a new standard for plein air competitions.