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Today’s featured artist is Jan Blencowe, a plein air painter from Connecticut who also happens to be a long-time art blogger with not one, but TWO art blogs, Art & Life and The Painting a Day Project.

What I always find incredible about plein air paintings in general, and Jan Blencowe’s paintings in particular, is that after just one sitting (and despite constantly changing light and weather) BAM—there’s another finished painting.

But it’s that immediacy, I think, which allows the artist’s experience, in that place, to seep into the artwork itself.

River and Clouds by Jan Blencowe

You see, Jan’s plein air paintings aren’t just landscapes. . . they’re landscapes showing a certain time of day, a certain time of year, even a certain temperature—and they’re a direct link to how the artist interacted with what she saw.

In River and Clouds (above) I notice the low horizon line and the sweep of Jan’s brush across the canvas to form those rolling clouds. I can almost feel the broad expanse of space and the massive sky with its restless wind.

But all of Jan’s paintings evoke a different feeling. September Field of Trees, for instance, is more pastoral, with blooming flowers and a much-overgrown lane.

September Field of Trees by Jan Blencowe

Everything’s a little more deliberate, too, as if the artist had a longer time to linger here, perhaps in the shade of those trees.

And although I do like those extra details, I think my favorite paintings by Jan are her very authentic “plein air” impressionist-style works—paintings primarily of light and color with just a hint of structure, like Treetops at Noon.

Treetops at Noon by Jan Blencowe

You can clearly see each spot where Jan put her brush, how each stroke left just a dab of paint, and yet the scene itself loses nothing in the process. It’s an impression in the truest sense of the word—and it’s fantastic.

SEE MORE: Impressionist oil landscapes for sale at NUMA Gallery

To explore the rest of Jan’s paintings visit her website at JanBlencowe.com and check out both of her blogs: Art & Life and The Painting a Day Project.

*Note: this post may contain affiliate links*

This week's featured artist is Jiddje Straatsma, a graphic designer and painter from Friesland, Holland. Over the last few months I've really enjoyed Jiddje's landscape and still life paintings, especially those that capture the unique qualities of his home province. Painted clogs, for example, are both a great subject-matter for a small daily painting. . . read more

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