Plein Air

Jock in Studio (Lisa)P1160701

En Plein Air Film and Catalogue launch, Friday 20th May at 7.30pm

Friday 20th May at 7.30pm saw the launch of the film and catalogue documenting the

The En Plein Air residency and exhibition by Jock Nichol held in the Laois Arthouse in July 2015.

En Plein Air is a phrase used to describe the act of painting outdoors, also called: peinture sur le motif (“painting of the object(s) or what the eye actually sees”), where a painter reproduces the actual visual conditions seen at the time of the painting.


Jock utilized the facilities and  environs of Stradbally, running a very successful residency programme. Jock had three weeks to work on his own art practice and one week where he worked with a group of artists and enthusiasts interested in learning more about the En Plein Air process. He is a natural teacher and gently gets the best out of his students. The five day course was open to adult students of all abilities and focused on painting the landscape En Plein Air in the surroundings of the nearby Stradbally Hall Estate.


The catalogue is a record of the residency; demonstrating the importance of public engagement and opening the doors of the Laois Arthouse to the public. Documentation of the residency was Lisa Fingleton. She produced a short film on the residency which will be screened on the launch night.


Commenting on the residency Jock said, “I have several abiding memories of the summer of 2015. Playing a kind of hide-and-seek around Stradbally Estate, searching for people as they crouch over drawing boards behind hedges and walls (hopefully they weren’t really hiding from me) or sitting against an orchard wall simultaneously sunning ourselves and sheltering from the wind, eating lunch -tired from the mornings work but itching to get going again – long days that seemed so short.”

Laois Arts Officer, Muireann Ní Chonaill also curated the project, she said “The Laois Arthouse comes into its own with residencies. It opened in 2011 and offers support to artists through a variety of means. The Laois Arthouse is a place of work for artists. It is also a place where the public and the artist can meet and it was an obvious choice to invite Jock to lead out the En Plein Air programme.”

The En Plein Air progamme was funded through Laois County Council’s Arts programme and the Percent for Art Scheme.