9 x 12, oil on linen
Yesterday I participated in a plein air paint out in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Gallery B Lexington was the gracious host for the evening party showcasing the resulting exhibit, and the paintings will be on display through August 11th. It was my first opportunity to join the Plein Air Painters of the Bluegrass, a welcoming group of talented artists, and also the maiden voyage for my new James Coulter artbox and easel in the photo above.
Painting en plein air originated with the French Impressionists who preferred the challenge of outdoor light (rather than fixed studio light). Challenge is the key word in that sentence due to the ever changing light, clouds, weather, etc. But then the challenge is also the part that is the most fun. For anyone who has never participated in a paint out, the rules are simple. At a specified time, artists arrive with a blank canvas where officials stamp the back to verify that the painting was painted that day on location. Participants then head out to find a spot to set up easels and a few hours later, everyone returns with a finished painting, framed and ready to hang. No two paintings are alike and it is always a delight to see the variety of interpretations and styles.
"Sure, girls from New York are tough and girls from Georgia are sweet, but those born and bred Kentucky girls, those are the ones you have to watch out for. We have sugar and fire in our blood, we can ride a horse, be a debutante, we can throw a left hook, and tell you the entire UK lineup, all while making sweet tea. And if we have an opinion you get to know it. We're both the pride and downfall of the bluegrass." Ashley Judd