What is the goal of Plein Air map?
The primary goal of the site is to provide a tool to enhance the experience of creating art outdoors. The main way of doing this is by aiding in the process of discovering and selecting great places outdoors to draw, paint, or create art on location. It is also a means for artists to show off and share their work, and connect it to a particular place.
Another goal of the site is to show off to the general public the artwork created in different regions and locations around the world. The goal is to create an easy way for the public to become aware and learn about the artists active in various regions and see the artwork inspired and created at different locations.
As an artist, how does one use Plein Air Map?
When going out to paint, take your smartphone and make sure that location services or GPS services are turned on. When you get to the spot where you are going to paint, snap a photo of your subject. When you are done painting, and at home, and you have a photo of your painting, log in to Plein Air Map and go to the 'Add Spot' link. When you add a spot, you'll be able to upload the photo of the spot, and add notes about your experience at the Spot.
You'll also see a link to 'Add new Artwork' to the Spot. If you click on that link, you'll be able to upload your photo of your painting, and add information about it (title, medium, surface).
When all of this is done, you'll be able to see your spot on the map. The public and other users of the site will be able to see your spot on the map as well, and when they go to the page for your spot, they will also be able to see your artwork.
Your artwork will also be visible on your own profile page. This is visible to all and linked to from the Artists page.
Do I have to use a GPS-enabled smart phone, or photos with GPS coordinates to use Plein Air Map?
No. You can use any digital photos of good painting locations with Plein Air Map. We've made it easiest to use when you have digital photos with the GPS coordinates already embedded, by just uploading the image and the site reads the coordinates and saves them. If you wish to use digital photos without GPS coordinates, you can manually enter the coordinates. It's easy to find the GPS coordinates of a location by searching for it on Google Maps.
Must all the artwork posted on Plein Air Map be created outdoors or 'en plein air'?
No. Plein Air map is for any artwork created or inspired by particular locations outdoors. This includes artwork that was finished or touched up in the studio. Wonderful paintings of outdoor scenes are often created from combinations of studies and photos of outdoor locations, these are definitely permitted. The idea behind a 'Spot' is to mark a place as a subject for art. The goal of the Spot is to associate the spot with artwork created about that spot, place, and location.
Must the photos for each spot show exactly what was depicted in the artwork?
No. One of the main purposes of Plein Air Map is to share with other artists and the public great places to paint outdoors. So photos should show what kind of scenery a fellow artist might encounter at that Spot.