Hi Everyone,

I've just received this email from Eric Rhoads the Art Publisher. This is the largest plein air (outdoor) painting convention in the world and I'm going to be the first speaker on stage. (I'm a bit nervous but I hear that's a good thing). If you would like to join me there in April this year please use my special code RRNZ save $100 off the registration price. Some of the best painters in the world will be there sharing their experience - I'm really looking forward to it and hope to meet you there.

Here is the email I received from Eric Rhoads (very inspirational I thought):

A Breathtaking Outdoor 
Art Experience

A Message from Art Publisher B. Eric Rhoads

How is it that a paint brush and a box of paints can change a life? Though it seems odd, I've seen it happen time and again, starting with my own life. In a recent video interviewabout how I got into the art magazine business, I talked about how my mother, a painter, started me out painting at a young age. Then, on my 40th birthday, my wife bought me an art lesson -- and that opened my eyes to a new world. I learned to paint, becoming a figurative and plein air painter and then a publisher of art magazines.

I was a busy, driven, "Type A" entrepreneur, living a fast life with no room for hobbies. Even though I loved the idea of painting, I had told myself I didn't have the time. Yet that one gesture, the gift of an art lesson, opened my eyes, changing my world and my life. From that point forward, I found time for art and for studying.

Like you, I've seen other lives transformed because individuals learned to paint. I make a point of encouraging anyone who expresses any interest but then tells me they have no talent. I may give them a quick lesson, introduce them to an instructor, buy them a paint set, or do something else to get them into it. In most cases these people become passionate, and the act of painting helps them see life through a new lens. Painting makes life better.

Driven To Bring Painting To Others
I'm driven to help others find the gift of painting. It's one of the reasons I createdPleinAir magazine. Someone picks up the magazine in Barnes & Noble, falls in love with the paintings, and before long is taking the next step to learn. One of my great goals in life is to help people find this special gift.

Though I'm still "Type A" and moving at high speed, my focus has changed. My friend Carl Butrum told me yesterday we should spend the first third of life learning, the second third earning, and the last third giving. Part of my focus is to give back, and though I'm still in business, I'm trying to make my business about creating things that better the lives of the people we serve.

Indulge Me, Please!
One of those things is the Plein Air Convention, which is designed to make you a better painter, to enrich and deepen your relationships in the community of painters and collectors, to increase your knowledge of marketing, and to create a historic event and a lifetime memory. Like you, I've gone to paint-outs, I've gone to workshops, I've gone to gatherings of painters, and I've spent a lot of time at educational seminars and conventions. This event is all those things, rolled into one. If you'll indulge me for a few more minutes, I want to tell you about it.

Burn, Baby, Burn
This convention is on fire. We had more than 150 artists register in the week between Christmas and New Year's alone. When I returned from the break, I found that the hotel has sold out ONE NIGHT during the convention -- they still have rooms for the rest -- and the hotel told us, "We've never seen any event sell rooms so early and so fast." 

We think this could be a monumental inflection point in the world of plein air. Imagine the impact on the community if we can help several hundred people increase their skills as painters, increase their skills at marketing and selling paintings, and deepen their understanding of the plein air world. Imagine how much more plein air work will be respected; imagine how much better it will sell. Imagine how many paintings will be sold if I can help 750 painters double their sales in one year with my Marketing Boot Camp. The positive impact could be overwhelming.

Ironic, Isn't It?
Though it's a bit ironic to hold a convention about outdoor painting indoors, it's the only way to communicate effectively to 750 people (our limit). Clyde Aspevig, Scott Christensen, and all the other instructors can stand on stage, paint, talk, and show work, and everyone can see on the big screens. Though it may not be as intimate, it's effective. We have three days of indoor sessions planned, from early morning to the end of the day.

Special Permission From The National Park Service In Washington

We've received special, hard-to-obtain permissions from the National Park Service to allow all of you into the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area to paint. I went out to visit the park, which is a vast, 20-mile circle filled with thousands of amazing views, and those red rocks glow in the afternoon sun with an almost blinding glare. I can't wait to paint there. 

Our buses will pick you up at the hotel and bring you to the park, where we will have dozens of instructors set up doing demos. You can walk from one demo to another and see all your favorite people paint, or you can stick with one artist. Rather than making you sign up for workshops that only allow about 15 people to see these masters paint, we've decided you may want to get a feel for how dozens of top artists work. You watch one for a while, then walk over to another. 

Oh, and bring your paints and set up in the same spot. We're asking all the instructo rs to offer feedback and critiques. We've invited some of the top artists in the world, as well as some of the hot emerging artists who are the next generation of superstars. 

We are also setting up places for you to paint the day after the convention and will announce places you can paint with others before the event begins.

You May Be In The Guinness Book Of World Records
We're going to try to hit the record for the most outdoor painters painting in one place simultaneously, for the Guinness Book of World Records. The photo will be historic. Imagine you, me, and 750 of the best painters in the world in a group photo. People will look at that photo for generations to come. You'll go down in history as part of a momentous occasion in plein air.

Vegas Is Not Stupid
One man sent me an e-mail that said, "Vegas is a stupid place to paint." Sorry, sir. It's really not. I chose Las Vegas for the convention for several reasons:

1. The red rocks surrounding Vegas are spectacular. I go out to the area once a year. It's that good, and there is much to paint. Of course I would never put you on the Vegas Strip to paint (though it sounds like fun!). All the great Western masters painted glowing red rocks like these. You need a red rock painting in your collection of work.

2. I selected Vegas for the climate. I didn't want to hold the convention when the booming plein air season was going on, since I didn't want to be in conflict with all the other wonderful spring, summer, and fall events. Mid-April is about the last time of year we could hold a convention and not have many conflicts. The weather in Vegas is almost always perfect that time of year, when it's still snowing in other parts of the world. In Vegas, you can still paint the snow-capped mountains while wearing a T-shirt or a light jacket.

3. Vegas has loads of cheap hotels, cheap food, and best of all, cheap flights. Plus you might want to slip over to the Strip before or after the convention for the complete Las Vegas experience.

4. But we're not on the Strip. We're on the far edge of town, many miles away, right by the entrance road to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

5. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Need I say more?

The Great Room Grab

If you can still get into the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa at our special rate, grab the rooms for the remaining nights. It's spectacular. Stay at another hotel one night if you need to, but get rooms while you can. This is a lot of hotel for the money. It's almost brand new and normally sells for a lot more. ($130 a night is our special rate.) Red Rock has a casino, spa, three giant pools, a bowling alley, a movie theater, a food court with lots of inexpensive options, many restaurants, and beautiful rooms with views of the red rocks on one side and the distant Las Vegas Strip on the other side. And it's even owned by art collectors. How cool is that?

A Breathtaking Experience
We've designed this to be unlike any convention you've ever attended, unlike any workshop or seminar. It's designed so you can learn, grow, paint, interact, receive critiques, see the latest products. You'll leave knowing you're a better painter and a better marketer, and you'll have the confidence to move to the next level. You'll laugh with old friends and meet new ones, interact with masters, and go home feeling like you've just had the experience of a lifetime. We even have a couple of surprises up our sleeve.

Watch Our Video

Take A Tour of Incredible Speakers, Painters & Sessions
Go to our website and tour all the names of painters and speakers. We're pulling out all the stops. Here are some highlights you may not have seen.

1. Richard Ormond, grand-nephew of John Singer Sargent, is flying in from London. He is an art historian and a Sargent biographer, and he promises to make the life of John Singer Sargent and the artist's plein air work immediate and real, from a family perspective. Richard's grandmother, Sargent's sister, is in many Sargent paintings, and he'll be sharing family stories.

2. Clyde Aspevig is known as one of the best landscape painters in the world. His recent show in Santa Barbara received rave reviews, and people flew in from all around the world to see it. It's almost impossible to get Clyde to do this kind of event any longer because he is in such demand, and the idea of watching him paint is golden. It's something few people will ever get to see.

3. Scott Christensen is another of the world's finest landscape painters. His workshops are in great demand and usually have a waiting list. Scott is coming in to share his thoughts on what he learned when he and I went to Russia to study the great Russian masters; he called me one night, a month after the trip, and told me he has reinvented the way he paints after seeing the work of the Russian masters and a trip to the Zorn Museum. So even if you've been to one of Scott's workshops, you may find he has an exciting new approach.

4. Russian Master Nicholai Dubovek and Russian Day. The Russians are among the finest plein air painters, and outdoor painting has been an essential part of the training of Russian masters. We decided to bring those Russian influences to you, so we're flying in the master professor from the Serikov Institute of the Russian Academy in Moscow. Nicholai Dubovek studied in the lineage of the great Russian masters, and he'll paint on stage and on location. (Don't worry, we have a translator!) But that's not all. Russian Day will include a lecture by Russian-art dealer John Wurdeman on the Russian impact on realism and influence on plein air painting. Plus we have the German-born, Russian-trained young painter Ulrich Gleiter, who is winning awards around the world, and Russian-born painter Alexey Steele. All on stage, all painting. You won't want to miss this historic moment.

5. Jean Stern, art historian and Executive Director of the Irvine Museum. Jean is the best known voice in plein air history. We've asked him to speak about today's plein air movement and relate it to the past, while telling the stories and relating the history.

6. Plein Air Painters of America is known to include some of the world's finest painters. Several members of this exclusive group are on the agenda or working with you in the field, including:

- Gil Dillinger, president of PAPA, Signature Member
- Peter Adams, Emeritus Member
- Ken Auster, Signature Member
- Ned Mueller, Signature Member
- Ray Roberts, Signature Member
- Matt Smith, Signature Member
- Kenn Backhaus, Signature Member

7. Richard Robinson, one of New Zealand's premier painters. Richard is an amazing painter and a wonderful, entertaining instructor. His DVDs are top sellers in America and around the world.

8. The L.A. Boys. Three killer painters who are taking the West Coast by storm: Jeremy Lipking, Alexey Steele, and Tony Pro.

9. Emerging superstars. These artists are hot, they're winning awards, and they're unbelievable painters. Some are young, some are more experienced, some are the new masters. All are incredible painters who can teach you a lot.

- Brian Mark Taylor
- Ulrich Gleiter
- Erik Koeppel
- Ed Terpening
- Scott Prior
- Michael Godfrey
- Jeremy Lipking
- Alexey Steele 
- Tony Pro

10. Top Women Masters
- Morgan Samuel Price, Signature Member, PAPA
- Dawn Whitelaw
- Lori Putnam
- Kim Lordier
- Carole Guzman-Aspevig
- Jean LeGassick
- Camille Przewodek

11. Marketing Boot Camp with Eric Rhoads. Almost five intense hours of marketing training from me. Marketing is one of my great loves, and I've built many brands in my career. I blog about how to sell paintings, and my goal is to double the number of paintings you sell in the next 12 months and help you build your brand. I've invited a couple of other marketing experts to help me teach you how to sell more artwork.

12. New Three-Payment Plan: We know you want to go, and some are awaiting the sale of a painting or other cash windfall. We've made a special arrangement with PayPal that allows you to pay in three equal payments in the next three months leading up to the convention. This three-payment option expires on January 31.

Why You May Want To Make A Decision Today
When I met with the hotel, I told them I was going to launch the largest gathering of plein air artists in history. I told them I wanted the whole hotel. They told me that they were partially booked and could give me only enough space for 750 people. I told them I could sell 2,000 seats because there are tens of thousands of plein air painters who will want to attend this first, historic event. But I can only get a ballroom to accommodate 750 people. Not 751.

Already Making History
The early activity is intense, the hotel is telling us we're selling faster than any convention they have ever seen, and more than 150 plein air groups are partnering with us to get their members to attend (check here to see if your group is listed) and offering a discount. If each group sends only five people, we will sell out. Some of these groups, like Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society, have thousands of members. Plus there is an early-bird price that will soon expire.

If you plan to attend, it's probably a good idea to grab a seat now so you can be sure you get one. Though this is a conference for artists, we have heard from art historians, gallery directors, and collectors who plan to attend too. I do hope to see you there. It's going to be the ultimate plein air experience.

Eric Rhoads

PS: I'm not some big publishing conglomerate that cares only about taking dollars from your pocket. You're not just a number or a subscriber to me. I'm a plein air painter. I launched PleinAir magazine because I love to paint, because I love to spend time with other painters, and because I am obsessed with learning to be a better painter. My philosophy is to be generous and to give more than I take, and my plan is to give you an incredible art experience. I wish I had room for 10,000 painters. Maybe one day. But year one will be historic. Don't look back when you're hearing the stories and wish you had attended. Don't tell yourself you'll wait till year two. (I have no idea if there will even be a year two, though I hope so.) You have my word and my money-back guarantee that this will be an amazing experience you won't want to miss. My reputation is on the line, and you can be guaranteed I'm going to give you a lifetime memory.

PS II: Sponsors Make This All Possible.
I'd like to encourage you to spend gobs of money with these companies that have been brave enough to step out and support this convention because they believe so strongly in plein air painting. Sponsors make it possible for us to reduce registration fees. These people deserve your support, and I would like to thank them for showing you how important they believe this convention is to the future of painting en plein air. It is my hope that you'll be able to see all the greatest plein air products in one place. These people are leading that charge. Please support them, and click on their logos below to visit their websites.

PS III: I'm gathering my best friends and asking them to attend so we can share the experience together. I hope you'll do the same and forward this e-mail.

Plein Air Convention 


To register online, go to www.pleinairconvention.com




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Comment by Dorian Aronson on January 29, 2012 at 23:02

I am going...........see you there.

Comment by Timothy Luk on January 29, 2012 at 11:24

First speaker, wow..

Sounds like it would be an amazing experience

Comment by Richard Robinson on January 21, 2012 at 9:15

:-)  Good on you Bill. See you there!


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