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PLEIN AIRE: Painting In Open Air

PLEIN AIRE  Painting In The Open Air
Outdoor painters invite public to learn
By Dorothy Brotherton
Westside Weekly

art workshiops

The Westside community has its own Plein Aire group, and although it’s pronounced “plain air,” it has nothing to do with air quality.
It’s from the French phrase “en plein air,” which means “in the open air,” explains local artist Louise Lambert, and it’s all about art.
The Westside Plein Aire Group recently received a start-up grant of $750 from the B.C. Spirit Festivals, with support on its application by the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan.

“We were quite surprised to get it,” said Lambert, who was behind starting the plein aire group last summer, with an event at Gellatly Heritage Park.
The grant will be used to host the Plein Aire Art Show and Experience, a three-day event, Feb. 25 to 27.

The idea is that “the public can view works of art that have been created from the area where the artists live and work, meet the artists and learn about this art form,” said Lambert. She noted these works would normally not be shown collectively to the public and their stories would remain untold.

Throughout the show, artist will exhibit their techniques and knowledge in demonstrations of creating their art. The event will be held at the restaurant at Two Eagles Golf Course, 3509 Carrington Rd., West Kelowna. It will cover such topics as recommended tools and supplies, how to start a painting and useful contacts.

Lambert noted that plein aire events created a stir in the late 1800s when the artists who became known as the Impressionists ventured out of their studios into nature. They wanted to investigate and capture the effects of sunlight and different times of day on a subject. It was a revolutionary concept in that day. Later, Canada’s own Group of Seven artists adopted the concept. “The Westside Plein Aire Group is re-educating the public about this form of painting, which is so ingrained into Canadian history,” said Lambert. It’s also part of another passion of Lambert’s: “We’re trying to chip away at getting some kind of arts happening on the Westside.” The plein aire experience offers more than painting from a photo can do, she added. It allows artists to see true colours, and “immerses the artist in the living ambience of the moment and place.” As well, artists are encouraged to grow in observational and painting skills.

The local plein aire group meets every Friday at a variety of Okanagan locations, such as vineyards, parks, waterfalls and historical sites. No, they are not slowed down by cold weather. It’s part of the group’s desire to capture the essence of these settings in paintings and eventually to display them.
Lambert noted the Okanagan valley is full of “amazing and diverse landscapes.”

For more information on the Westside Plein Air Group, or to register for the event at Two Eagles, contact Lambert at [email protected] or 250-707-0795.

View Press Release – click here

Plein Air Workshops and Classes Schedule

Painting in the Vineyard – Plein Air –
June 2011 – click here for info

Painting Plein Air Landscapes and Seascapes
September 5-9, 2011 – click here for details

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