Spotlight | Wilder Nightingale Fine Art: Plein Air Artists Colorado Show

Taos, NM
May 5-24

Morning Sun by Barbara Churchley

The plein-air painting season gets underway in Taos, NM, in early May with Plein Air Artists Colorado’s 16th annual Juried Fine Art Exhibition and Sale. From April 29 through May 4, PAAC members from around the country gather in the historically rooted and culturally rich town, tucked into the southern-most end of the Rocky Mountains, to paint the desert and mountain landscape as spring emerges. Works created during the Paint Out, plus more than 120 juried works by 70 PAAC members and 10 to 12 works by Master Signature Members, go on sale at Wilder Nightingale Fine Art Gallery on May 5.

From May 1 to 4, watch the artists at their easels and talk with them about their work, as they capture Taos proper as well as the surrounding landscape and historical sites en plein air. Freshly painted works by Signature Members are on view and for sale from the “wet wall” May 5 and 6 only. Other special events during the opening weekend include artists’ demonstrations and an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on May 5, at which member artists are in attendance. The Juried Fine Art Exhibit remains on display at Wilder Nightingale Gallery until May 24. A catalog of juried works can also be viewed online at Following is just a small sampling of PAAC artists participating in this year’s event.

Noell’s Red Truck by Leslie Allen

Colorado artist Leslie Allen says the best advice about painting she ever received came from her grandfather, who said, “Paint what you see.” Allen does exactly that, painting clouds purple and snow blue if that is how they look in the changing light. She paints the Colorado mountains, foothills, and wildflowers in stripped-down simplicity.

Having dabbled in other artistic disciplines over the years, Janet Anderson took up oil painting initially because it allowed her to combine her love of the outdoors with her creative expression. Anderson works with a limited palette, creating landscapes, still lifes, and figurative paintings that are rich with subtleties. She paints the Colorado Rockies in all seasons, as well as the pastoral landscapes she encounters in her extensive European travels.

Jeannie Breeding spent 27 years teaching art before devoting the majority of her time to her own art. Ever ready with her camera, Breeding has traveled around the world capturing “the fresh energy of a particular moment” as well as her personal connection, her feelings, and the sensations of the experience of a setting. She works in both oils and watercolors, and paints en plein air as well as in the studio. Her oils take on a sculptural quality with thick, textured paint application.

Twilight by Janet Anderson

Working in both pastels and oil paints, Barbara Churchley depicts the western landscape she calls home with impressionistic, loose brushwork and a predominantly cool palette. Canyonlands, mountain meadows and streams, and the occasional floral still life figure prominently in her body of work.

Jeanne Echternach hails from New Hampshire but has made Colorado her home for 30 years. Her strongly impressionistic western landscapes, urban-scapes, harbor scenes, and still lifes may be aglow with warm, brilliant color or softly subdued.

Pastel artist and oil painter De Munden translates the rural Midwestern landscapes with which she is most familiar as a means of recording a “place in time.” Munden finds purposeful work in cataloging the farms, rolling hillsides, trees, creeks, and streams as these places change, disappear, or evolve, whether at the hand of man or nature.

For more information about the PAAC National Juried Fine Art Exhibition and Sale: 575.758.3255 or Rintala

Featured in May 2012.