Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 1445 Millcoe Road, Jacksonville, FL 32225  

2021 A Brush with Nature

This wonderful annual event is in its tenth year! We’re thrilled to have more than 35 of the region’s finest landscape artists setting up their easels to capture the essence of the Arboretum’s beautiful settings over the two-day event. Stunning Florida landscapes, talented plein air artists doing live demonstrations, live music, food trucks, kids’ art activities and local artists’ original art for sale – all outdoors and with room for the family dog to join in – are just a few highlights of this year’s “A Brush With Nature” event. This popular annual event will be held May 15 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A Brush With Nature brings together art and the outdoors, as participating artists from First Coast Plein Air Painters (FCPAP) set up at different points around the Arboretum’s 120-acre grounds to capture the essence of the beautiful settings and paint their favorite scenes live in real time. Proceeds from the event support both organizations, and $3 per person is the requested donation amount to attend.

Oil, watercolor, pastel, acrylic, charcoal and colored pencils are just a few of the mediums that the FCPAP artists will demonstrate as they capture the Arboretum’s lakes, trails, trees and flowers, each in their unique style.

Visitors can stroll along the nature trails to watch and interact with the artists as they work. Then, you can purchase your favorite piece and take it home. All works of art created at the event are available for sale, as well as other works by the participating artists.

This year’s lineup includes
• A plant sale hosted by Earthworks Gardens
• Children’s activities from noon to 3 p.m. both days
• Live Folk and Bluegrass music from Old Dawg New Tricks and Cindy Bear and Robert, followed by MC J Wiz Productions DJ to keep things hopping along.
• Food Trucks include Balu’s Surf Shack, Big Island Bowls and About Time Creamery.

A special thanks to our volunteers and our sponsors: Be sure and thank them for their support of your beautiful Arboretum.

Volunteer! Event volunteer sign up for A Brush With Nature is starting now!

Last year’s event was a mix of Plein Air and virtual!

We realized that not everyone was able to come to the Arboretum to interact with our Plein Air artists. With this in mind, we created a virtual component of “A Brush with Nature.”

Some photos from previous events

The event schedule included children’s art and artist’s demos.

If you are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Dana Doody at danad@jacksonvillearboretum.org


Thank you to all of our wonderful 2021 sponsors!

Artist’s Tent Sponsor

Children’s Tent Sponsor

Hickory Sponsor

Wild Azalea Sponsor

In Kind Sponsor

What is the ‘Plein Air’ Tradition?

“En Plein Air” is a French term meaning “in the open air.” Since the mid-19th Century and the advent of portable painting supplies like the paint tube and “box” easels, artists have taken to the outdoors.

The plein air movement brought artists out of their studios and into the natural light. It birthed a new type of artist who recorded the everyday scenes of life in the colors and light that nature provided and offered artists a new way to approach their painting process. The 19th century English landscape painter, John Constable, noted that “artists should forget formulas and trust their own vision in finding truth in nature.” The stiff formality and romanticism of the studio gave way to this entirely new concept resulting in such movements as the Barbizon School and the Impressionists.

In Europe, painters you might recognize such as Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Degas, and Renoir, took to the outdoors using colors and brush strokes that captured sparkling natural light. Here in America, artists’ colonies began to spring up, particularly on the East and West coasts and in the Southwest, where artists like William Merritt Chase, Edmund Tarbell, Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, Edgar Payne, William Wendt and many others expanded on the plein air tradition.

Claude Monet Painting by the Edge of a Wood.
en:1885. en:John Singer Sargent. Oil on canvas. 54.0 x 64.8 cm. en:Tate Gallery, en:London.

Today, plein air is enjoying a huge resurgence, with groups forming all around the country. Open air artists study and paint the light as it appears under different weather conditions and at different times of day. The challenge of painting loosely and expressively takes the form of both finished paintings and studies that might later be finished in a studio setting.

Plein Air painting has a long and colorful history and is just as relevant today as 100 years ago, and perhaps even more so, as artists feel a particular need to capture landscapes that are rapidly disappearing from our daily lives due to both development and natural causes.

source – www.wikipedia.org

Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens