Letting Go

“Rigging for an Afternoon Sail” (watercolor, 11 x 8.8 in.) by Barbara Tapp, featured in the PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads, Episode 101

Transitioning from architectural illustration to plein air watercolor painting wasn’t easy for Barbara Tapp. She explains that it took seven years of experimenting and pushing herself through reading, meeting other artists, joining an art club, and painting en plein air with others to truly become a painter. Only then was she able to let go of painting everything completely accurately and to let her imagination come in to play.

Today Tapp is a Signature Member of California Plein Air Painters, a Juried Member of Watercolor West An International Transparent Watercolor Society, an Associate Member of California Art Club, and an Associate Member of California Watercolor Association.

Listen in as she shares her story with Eric Rhoads in this PleinAir Podcast:

Learn from Barbara Tapp in person at the 8th Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo, also featuring Joseph Zbukvic, Daniel Marshall, Keiko Tanabe, and many more!

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Kelly Kane
PleinAir Magazine and American Watercolor Weekly Editor-in-Chief With more than 20 years experience in art publishing, Kelly Kane has served previously as Editor-in-Chief of Watercolor Artist magazine and Content Director for The Artist’s Magazine, Drawing, Acrylic Artist, and Pastel Journal. She has interviewed many of the preeminent artists of our time and written numerous articles about painting, drawing, art education and art history. She is now the Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir Magazine and the American Watercolor Weekly newsletter. Click here to send her an email.


  1. thank you for sharing your journey and your wonderful pictures.
    I am just beginning and strive each day to try harder. I am legally blind so definition is a problem with me however I was wondering whether an interpretive or loose picture is acceptable?
    When starting out it is such an event peeks and troughs and doubt but I have taken classes with a number of artists and I find that most seem to present their way as the only correct way so it made me more confused.
    Thank you for sharing and reading this.
    Kind regards Lorraine


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