Bernie's Ramblings: Shepherd's Battery... Fort Fisher... Living History/Plein Air Demo
Saturday, January 12, 2008, I had the privilege of attending the 143rd Anniversary Commemoration of the Second Battle at Fort Fisher. The Living History program included artillery and infantry demonstrations, period music, fort tours, and a living history/plein air demo by yours truly. I have migrated from soldier to civilian in my hobby of Civil War reenacting... actually I have taken on the role of a period artist. My impression is based on a combination of two artists... Alfred Waud (probably the most noted of period sketch artists) and Winslow Homer who painted scenes from the war and became one of America's most famous painters. One of his most famous works was "Sharpshooter on Picket Duty" pictured below.
I spoke with several people about the history of plein air painting and how the invention of the metal paint tube in the mid 1800's made it possible for painters to go outside and paint "en plein aire" for the first time... a French term which means "in open air".