Rock Jackson Memorial
Art Scholarship Fund

For young artists in the Tucson, AZ area. Three scholarships of $500 are available.

This opportunity is open to young adults who are currently enrolled in an art program in high school, college/university. The workshops take place during the spring or summer of 2014.

If you are interested in learning to paint the landscape en plein air, developing color skills, learning about design & composition, painting portrait, figure or still life and joining us for workshops like those by top nationally known artists in Tuscon, please see your teacher or instructor. Send three images of your work, your contact information, age and address. Send a brief explanation of why your are the best candidate for this program and a letter from youf art instructor to Jack Wahl, at

Thank you for your interest. I look forward to reviewing your submission.

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Submissions and Notifications

Submission of application and submission images due by May 1, 2014. The selected condidates will be notified by May 15, 2014. You will then be able to select an instructor from a list and further details abour the workshop.

Plein Air - A Brief History

Plein Air artists today work and study directly from nature. I often say that we are similar to scientists in that we learn by observing the natural order of things. We can be found painting a still life, a portrait, or a cityscape just about anywhere outdoors at anytime of day.

What we intend to capture from direct observation is the effect of light (sun, artificial effects of nighttime or reflected) on these subjects. Painting landscapes outside in the open air had its origins in the Netherlands. The word "landscape" has its own evolution; it comes from the Dutch word "landschap", which refers to a region or tract of land.

Earlier, the Greek and Roman artists represented nature on their floors and walls using a stylized form generally without showing direct light. Landscapes were secondary in the religious narrative paintings of the Renaissance and other intervening art movements until we arrive at the Netherlands during the 1500's. Artists here first began to venture out of their poorly lit studios into the open air. They were the artists who initiated painting the pastoral beauty of the land from direct observation.

Soon after, Italy became a popular place for inspiration. To this day, art connoisseurs around the world love an Italian landscape painting. Then, of course, we have the French Impressionists with their "Je ne sais quoi", who exponentially added to the concept of painting sunlight on an object.

Our influences are the Impressionists like Claude Monet, Camille Pissario, Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisly. These artists pushed the color boundaries. Plein Air artists today have also been affected by Cezanne and Van Gogh, who both carried outdoor landscape painting further. They focused on the foreground, middle ground and background as important components of an outdoor composition. We must include in this discussion the mid 19th century Barbizon School of romantic landscape painters. Painters like Corot, Rousseau and Millet considered landscape painting to be "the" aesthetic ideal that then provided emphasis to the genre.

What we have today in the Tucson Plein Air Painters Society is the "Best in the Southwest". We paint the wild beauty of the American West, with its vivid light and dramatic effect on color. We paint urban cultural, industrial landscapes and architecture, as well as our natural surroundings.

Our ideal paintings push all of the aforementioned tenets and more. Plein Air artists vary in style from those who tend to be realists, to those who prefer the more abstract. Our mediums vary as well. What we focus on are the value changes, the various contrasts, atmospheric perspective and how outdoor light illuminates our chosen subject. We are the Contemporary Landscape Painting Art movement of today, en Plein Aire.

-Janine Manemann