Show Preview | Plein Air Artists Colorado

Boulder, CO
Mary Williams Fine Arts, September 8-October 7

Kim English, Old Tobacco Barn, oil.

Kim English, Old Tobacco Barn, oil.

This story was featured in the September 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  September 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

For many years artists have painted what they observe in their everyday lives. Whether it’s the incline of a mountain, the endlessness of a meadow, or the silhouette of a city, artists have worked outside while gazing at their subjects for hours on end to capture what they see and feel. This is the definition of the phrase en plein air, which the members of Plein Air Artists Colorado strive to preserve. “We promote plein-air painting at its purest,” says Jennifer Riefenberg, treasurer of the organization. “We want people to see the level of excellence that can be achieved in paintings finished in the field.”

In following that mission, Plein Air Artists Colorado hosts its 21st annual national exhibition this month at Mary Williams Fine Arts. The juried show includes work from over 100 different artists from across the country. It begins Friday, September 8, with an artists’ reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Riefenberg says much of the work is smaller in scale and includes subject matter ranging from traditional landscapes to cityscapes and architecture. While many of the pieces are done in oils and pastels—longtime favorites of plein-air painters—the organization has seen an uptick in watercolor and acrylic paintings over the past few years. Participating artists include Carol Strock Wasson, Lorenzo Chavez, Kim English, William Scott Jennings, and Don Sahli.

This year plein-air painter Albert Handell is the judge of awards. Handell is a master signature member of the organization and has been painting for over 60 years. “I like to support anybody who is promoting plein-air painting, and I think it’s wonderful what they are doing with this show,” Handell says. The artist brings his years of practice and unique sense of artistic intuition to judge the works for several awards, including Best of Show. When evaluating the artwork, Handell searches for the freshness that he feels when he is painting en plein air. “It’s not just about how well an artist can swing a paintbrush,” he says. “I like to be pleasantly surprised by the point of view taken, how much atmosphere is there, and how honestly the light is revealed.” —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
www.pleinairartistscolorado.com

This story was featured in the September 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  September 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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