Show Preview | Plein Air Southwest Salon

Dallas, TX
Artists’ Showplace Gallery, April 8-May 15

Nancy Boren, Vermont Farm, oil, 9 x 12.

Nancy Boren, Vermont Farm, oil, 9 x 12.

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

Spring has sprung and it’s time once again to celebrate the art of plein-air painting at the 12th annual Plein Air Southwest Salon, an exhibition and sale of more than 200 colorful creations by top plein-air artists from around the country. Organized by the Outdoor Painters Society, the juried member show opens with a preview, artists’ reception, and awards ceremony on Saturday, April 8, at 4 p.m.

Southwest Gallery has hosted the event since its inception, but this year it moves to the Artists’ Showplace, an airy 12,000-square-foot gallery in north Dallas. Works by 86 artists hang salon-style, highlighting the varied subjects and styles of the group’s coast-to-coast membership, says OPS president Tina Bohlman. Themes cross all seasons, regions, and subject matter, from shrimp boats and sailboats to woodlands, farmland, mountain streams, and coastal scenes.

Among the artists whose works were accepted, a majority showcase two to four pieces each. “Paintings were completed within the last two years,” notes Bohlman, “some over several sessions. These works were painted on location with a lot of thought.” A mix of Signature and Associate members participate, along with master-level members Bohlman, John Cook, Kaye Franklin, Rusty Jones, John Pototschnik, Fran Ellisor, Ann Hardy, and Diane Frossard. Master painter Kenn Erroll Backhaus is the juror of awards.

The Quick Paint on opening day is a popular event highlight. Artists gather to paint at one location and collectively produce 30 to 40 fresh new works that supplement the exhibition and sale. Paintings must be completed by 11 a.m., but artists can begin at dawn. “Sometimes you just need more time to interpret the scenery,” says Bohlman, “and that does raise the quality.”

“The show is always a great feast of what artists are doing around the country,” says newly minted Signature member Michael Holter. In his watercolor BEFORE THE RAIN, the Texas artist portrays a mass of soft, purple-gray storm clouds over Texas Hill Country. Holter painted the panoramic view one early morning during a plein-air event in Kerrville, he says. “It’s exciting to see watercolors being received more and more in plein-air circles. What better medium to capture a scene in an efficient and expeditious manner?”

Signature member Ann Larsen, who makes her home in the Adirondack Mountains, brings an autumn scene and a winter scene that highlight her expressive brushwork. Both oils depict one of her favorite spots to paint in Rocky Mountain National Park. “It’s an area around Moraine Park where a meandering creek travels through beautiful willows,” says Larsen. “In any season, it’s spectacular.” 

Quiet scenes near Fran Ellisor’s studio in southeast Texas inspired three of her oils in the show, but her fourth, RESPITE, depicts two anchored dinghies tied together in a harbor in Cape Ann, MA. “It was a quiet saltwater marsh I shared that afternoon with a couple of exceptional painters,” says Ellisor. Plein-air painting is rewarding for artists who want to imbue their studio work with natural light and beauty, she adds. “For some of us, it’s a calling we cannot ignore.” —Kim Agricola

contact information
972.741.6154
www.outdoorpainterssociety.com

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

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