The Quest to Paint the Arctic

25 Sep 2012

Yes, you read that right! I've heard of extreme sports and extreme makeovers, but extreme outdoor painting? This is a first for me. But when plein air artist Cory Trepanier told me that he had made a trek to paint the far reaches of the Canadian Arctic--a land of icebergs and permafrost and tundra!--I wanted to know more.

Trepanier had an amazing view of Arctic--and chose to record those sights in photos, film, and numerous plein air paintings.
Trepanier had an amazing view of Arctic--and chose to record those sights
in photos, film, and numerous plein air paintings.

Trepanier is an artist and filmmaker who has a keen passion for the wilderness. He has gone on three excursions to the Canadian Arctic and documented his expedition in two films and more than 1,000 photographs, but what's most intriguing is that he managed to create a collection of plein-air oil paintings while there. That's amazingly inspirational to me! To travel to the edge of the world into unknown territory and have enough presence of mind to take out his plein air easel and get to work? I'd be too busy shaking like a leaf from excitement (and cold!). Trepanier harnessed the energy of his environment and the power of this once-in-a-lifetime event into works of art that bring the Arctic--a place so awe-inspiring and, for most of us, out of reach--up close.

Trepanier based several large studio paintings on the plein air sketches he created while on his treks. Above, Great Glacier, study by Cory Trepanier, 16 x 6, oil on linen, painted at Coronation Fiord, Baff in Island, Nunavut, Eastern Canadian Arctic.
Trepanier based several large studio paintings on the plein air sketches he created while on his treks.
Above, Great Glacier, study by Cory Trepanier, 16 x 6, oil on linen, painted at Coronation Fiord,
Baff in Island, Nunavut, Eastern Canadian Arctic.

repanier plans to create a collection of 50 fine art oil paintings based on his Arctic plein air paintings.
Trepanier plans to create a collection of
50 fine art oil paintings based on his
Arctic plein air paintings.
Be sure to follow Cory's progress as he shares every step of his arctic painting journey on Artist Daily. Here's the first installment about how this plein air painting quest began! And whether you are ready to take on extreme outdoor painting, or you're like me and want to start with a nearby park or backyard, Plein Air Painting with Watercolor is a key resource for you. This eBook provides detailed information on mastering the medium in the great outdoors, and includes three step-by-step painting demonstrations, and tips on how to go from a painting sketch to finished work. Enjoy!


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Comments

bamda wrote
on 28 Sep 2012 8:42 AM

I understand the term plein air. After all, it just means fresh air or outside  (should be EN PLEINE AIR).  This is nothing new.  So, how did an easel become a " plein air easel"?  What's the difference between a "plein air easel" and an easel.?  Please stop overworking this old term.

KatPaints wrote
on 28 Sep 2012 9:49 PM

bamda, It needs to be overworked so that it creates a specific market. Some people especially non-artists or hobbyists could simply do only plein air painting and not be concerned about art or creativity in general.  Put it in a box and then it's limited so that some people can then participate in it. Take it out of the box; it becomes more general and less understood. It then falls under the category of art or painting.