Rod Moore, a local artist based in Geelong West, is presenting a new TV show about painting outdoors, offering viewers tips and techniques for oil painting on location in the open air. Plein Air Painting TV will broadcast on Channel 31, commencing on Tuesday 6 December 2011, and will showcase many scenic places around Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula and the Surfcoast, as well as Melbourne.
“This is a unique opportunity to inspire more people to paint in the outdoors and promote the Geelong region with all of its fabulous tourist attractions to artists and beyond,” Moore says.
Shooting on location at Point Lonsdale for ‘Plein Air Painting TV’. Image courtesy Rod Moore.
En plein air is a French term meaning ‘in the open air’ and describes the practice of painting outdoors in direct engagement with nature. It has a long and rich history (see Claude Lorrain in the 17th century, the Barbizon school, the Wanderers ‘Peredvizhniki’ in Russia, and the Impressionists in France in the 19th century) but perhaps the best known exponents of the outdoor painting practice are Monet and Renoir who explored the influence of changing sunlight on color. Closer to home, Arthur Streeton, born on the outskirts of Geelong, was a plein air painter along with other Australian artists such as Tom Roberts and Fredrick McCubbin.
Rod Moore painting Barwon Heads Bluff. Image courtesy Rod Moore.
“The art of plein air painting has largely been lost in Australia today,” Moore says. “Though popular more than 100 years ago many artists today prefer to work in their studio and are missing out on the opportunity to paint outdoors on location. In recent years in America there has been a huge resurgence in the popularity of plein air painting and we hope to inspire more people locally to paint out on location.”
Moore paints at a new location in each episode and his wife Sue, an inveterate traveller and adventurer, also presents a travel/lifestyle segment offering interesting facts about each area.
With their experience in filming outside, the Moores have learnt to expect the unexpected and adapt to the conditions. The first episode profiles the seaside hamlet of Barwon Heads where the artist had to battle a fierce northerly wind intent on whisking away his easel and everything else with it.
At the most recent shoot on the banks of the Yarra River, the Moores had to contend with hot weather, crowds and curious onlookers. “We went there early on a Sunday morning thinking it would be very quiet but it was absolutely packed full of people – rowboats, cyclists, tourist coming up to us,” says Moore. “It was really interactive and something we didn’t expect.”
Rod Moore completed this painting on the banks of the Yarra. Image courtesy Rod Moore.
The enterprising couple are working on thirteen half hour episodes for the first series. It is likely to air on Tuesdays in the prime time slot at 6:30pm but if you want a sneak peak, you can view the first episode on the Plein Air Painting TV website – you just need to subscribe with your email address. Every episode will be available online after airing on C31. For more details go to www.PleinAirPainting.TV