Robert Lewis

Robert Lewis

Robert Lewis

“How to Paint Plein Air”, the ebook, is available in the Kindle Store on Amazon. Take a Look Inside. Share the link to the book on Facebook, please. It is 192 pages of insights and techniques on plein air painting.

Please visit my website,, so you can decide whether or not I am qualified to write a blog entitled “How to Paint Plein Air”. And, I do hope that you read my essay entitled “What is Plein Air?”. This thoughtful look at the subject may be of great help to you as an artist interested in pursuing plein air painting. Further, my account of the Sedona Plein Air Festival gives a lot of insight into not only painting but competing. Taking plein air painting, and your own self, seriously is a key to success. Plein air painting is not some quaint little activity that people do when they retire. Though they may be retired when they take it up, it does not mean that this endeavor is anything but a serious and joyful pursuit.

As for me, I do take it seriously. I have been honored three times at the Carmel Art Festival, was winner of the first Monterey Plein Air Festival, and have been part of a number of painting competitions and exhibits across the nation. I enjoyed a long career in art as an illustrator, designer, and fine artist. My work is part of the permanent collection of the Academy Art Museum on the East Coast. Before returning to my native California and taking up plein air landscape oil painting, I worked in watercolor, scratchboard, paper sculpture, and acrylic.

I have lived in nearly every region of the country from Alaska to the Deep South, from the California to Maryland. This variety of scenery has contributed to my long fascination with the enduring beauty of the landscape. Plein air painting is the perfect expression of my love of landscape and being in the landscape.

But I love painting still lifes, too, and when I am not out painting plein air, or enlarging a plein air into a studio piece, you can find me setting up bowls of fruit and happily painting still lifes in the studio.

When painting plein air I paint in oil on canvas on location, finishing my paintings on site in a single sitting. My large-scale studio work is often based on my plein air work.

I am one of the founding members and a Signature Member of the Monterey Bay Plein Air Painting Association (MBPAPA). I live in Monterey and work outdoors and sometimes painting still life indoors. My work is currently available directly from me.


Academy Art Museum, Easton, Maryland


Carmel Art Festival, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Plein Air Easton, Easton, Maryland

San Luis Obispo Plein Air, San Luis Obispo, California

Frank Bette Plein Air Competition, Alameda, California


“My California: Portals and People”, National Steinbeck Center

“The Passionate Landscape”, Le Beau Soleil Gallery

“Grace Your Walls”, Le Beau Soleil Gallery

“The Bordeaux Countryside”, Le Beau Soleil Gallery

“Farmlands, Wetlands: Landscapes of San Jose”, Stone Griffin Gallery, Campbell

“Sirens of the Garden”, Founder’s Choice Award

“The Colorful Coast: Landscapes of the Monterey Peninsula”, Le Beau Soleil Gallery

“Carmel Art Festival Plein Air Exhibit”, Honorable Mention, Carmel Art Festival

“See the Gift”, Le Beau Soleil Gallery, Holiday Show, 2004

“The Challenge of Plein Air”, Le Beau Soleil Gallery, October 2004

“Views of the Land: Plein Air Painters of the Monterey Peninsula”, Pebble Beach, September 2004

“Two Views”, Alvarado Gallery, Monterey

“2004 Monterey Plein Air Festival”, First Place Winner

“Carmel Art Festival 2003 Plein Air Competition”, Honorable Mention, Carmel

“Plein Air Sunscapes”, The Art House, Pacific Grove, CA

“Coyote Valley Artists”, Gallery Kiosk, San Jose, CA