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Events > Paintings en Plein Air

Samuel Leone Opening Reception

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Paintings en Plein Air

Exposed to the elements, light shifts as shadows lengthen. Wind and water ebb and flow, birds sing and bugs bite.

In the outdoor landscape, everything is in flux. There is constant movement that challenges any artist’s skill. Life and the landscape are infinitely detailed; the artist distills what they observe into a moment captured in the mud of paint. This is the practice of painting outdoors, painting "en plein air", and is an essential training tool for an artist.

In Samuel Leone's first solo exhibition, Paintings en Plein Air, over 50 original oil paintings made in 2024 will be on display. This developmental exhibition is a showcase of the improvement and learning Leone has made over the past year in a continuous body of work. Leone's paintings take us on a journey through rural Charlton to the streets of Manhattan. Leone has painted at Niagara Falls, Cape Cod, and even in southern France and Spain!

Paintings en Plein Air

July 19 - August 4, 2024

Opening Reception - Friday, July 19th
6 - 9pm open to the public!

Gallery Exhibit Open - Friday, Saturday & Sundays
10am - 4pm

Samuel Leone finds painting outdoors more exciting and fulfilling than from inside the studio. Plein air is a performance art. Painting in front of the public can be frightening, but it excites Leone and pushes him forward. Compared to working from a still, flat photograph, plein air breathes more life into his artwork. The use of photographs as references is widespread in the art world. While convenient to paint from photographs, something is lost in the transfer between the camera lens and the artist’s eye. En plein air, a feeling of a moment can be captured.

Painting en plein air, Leone is building his own reference library of these moments, used to cumulatively inform his present and future work.

Plein air painting has led Leone to improvements in many areas of his craft: color, drawing, composition... Leone is inspired by the masters of plein air, Cézanne, Monet, and Van Gogh, as well as Munch and Hopper. In this developmental exhibition, Leone is trying to find a synthesis of the ideas of the old masters, expressionism, impressionism, and the “flatness” of the canvas while incorporating his own skill and ideas of art in the contemporary world. In a personal rebellion against technology’s influence on today's artscape, Leone regresses to traditional ways to find a path forward.

About the artist

Samuel Leone is a 20-year-old artist living between Charlton and Manhattan. As a developing artist, Leone is working towards finding his own style and identity in his craft.

Leone studies Fine Arts at the Fashion Institute of Technology and is moving into his junior year. He has received his Associate's diploma in Fine Arts and is continuing towards his Bachelor's degree. He spends the school year studying in NYC, learning painting, drawing, and sculpture while working in the classroom from live figure and still life. Leone works primarily in oil paint, but enjoys and is practiced in a wide variety of mediums. After school, he will continue to pursue his artistic career.

Through encouragement from his professors, Leone has begun working en plein air. In 2024 alone, Leone made over 50 plein air paintings. From the streets of New York, to Niagara Falls, Cape Cod, and the Charlton countryside. Plein air is a rewarding challenge for him, at times becoming a live performance when an audience gathers to watch him paint. Samuel Leone will continue painting en plein air as he travels through his journey as an artist. In painting from life Leone is able to capture a feeling of the landscape, as light shifts, birds fly, and phenomena occurs.

His works have been displayed at Main Street Studio, Fashion Institute of Technology exhibitions, and shown and sold on the streets of New York.