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

A Plein Air Painting Event

March 24-25

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

About The Event

Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens is hosting A Brush with Nature, a juried plein air painting event, in 2018.

The last event in 2015 gathered over 30 of the region’s finest landscape artists as they set up their easels to capture the essence of the Arboretum’s beautiful settings. The artists painted their favorite scenes from locations throughout the 120-acre site. Visitors strolled along the trails to watch and interact with artists as they worked. There were also be artist’s demonstrations, guided nature walks, food, live music and art activities for children.

All works of art were for sale at this free event and at the ticketed Artists’ Reception & Show, with proceeds benefiting both the artists and the Arboretum. The artwork was very affordable and offers a wide range of sizes and media, from watercolors, acrylics, oils, and pastels. Purchasing an original painting allowed the buyer to take home a lasting memory of the Arboretum, one that can be enjoyed for many years to come.

Participating artists in 2015 and samples of their work are here.

Contact us about the event here

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

Our Event’s Facebook

We have a special Facebook page just for this event! Please visit it here.


Environmental Services, Inc. (ESI)
Greater Arlington Civic Council (GACC)
The Driscoll Group
JM Family Enterprises/Southeast Toyota Distributors
Mary Ann & Shep Bryan
Black Creek Outfitters
Arbus Magazine
First Coast Signs
Mary Anne & Anwar Saadeh
Trad’s Garden Center & Landscape Service
Karate America
Bold City Brewery
Firehouse Subs
Coffee Perks
Clearly Jacksonville

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