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

A Plein Air Painting Event

March 24-25
2018

Randy Pitts Across Lake Ray.360h
Randy Pitts “Across Lake Ray” 8x10 oil on linen panel – Private Collection

About The Event

The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens and First Coast Plein Air Painters hosts A Brush with Nature, a plein air painting event, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25.

Admission is free, with donations to the arboretum encouraged.

Enjoy the gardens while more than 40 of the region’s finest landscape artists set up their easels to capture the essence of the Arboretum’s beautiful settings and paint their favorite scenes from locations throughout the 120-acre site.

All works of art created at the event are available for sale – with proceeds benefiting the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens and the artists. The artwork is very affordable and offers a wide range of sizes and media, from watercolors, acrylics, oils, and pastels. Purchasing an original painting allows the buyer to take home a lasting memory of the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens that can be enjoyed for many years to come.

Visitors can stroll along the trails while they watch and interact with artists as they work.

Activities include:
• Artists’ demonstrations each day
• Art activities for children from noon to 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
• Entertainment by Old Dawgs New Trixx, Al Poindexter and Eric Wendorf (noon to 3:30 p.m. Saturday)
• Food trucks Hybiscus Hut and Frozen Sweets on site from 9 a.m. to close both Saturday and Sunday

Guests are also invited to attend the judging and awards ceremony for the artists on Sunday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. for a $5 admission fee ($2 for Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens members).

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.

Monet.opt
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

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