A group of six Upstate artists have united in their love of plein air painting to create a joint exhibition, “Plein Air Etcetera,” Oct. 5 through 30 in Gallery I and II of the Artists Collective | Spartanburg.
The group consists of Jessica Barnes, Shelba Cook, Cynthia Link, April McDonald, Shannon Patrick and Doris Turner.
“These works are primarily plein air – painting outdoors – with a smattering of studio creations, art inspired by our plein air paintings,” says Patrick, a member of the Artists Collective.
“We are artists united by our love of plein air painting,” she adds. “Painting outdoors is a uniquely difficult and joyful experience. We are subject to the capriciousness of nature and to beauty, and we must quickly observe, assess and capture our subjects while the light is changing. Painting plein air requires an intensity of focus and constant decision making. It is an incredibly challenging, edifying and satisfying method of creating artworks. Plein air paintings often have a feeling of exuberance and spontaneity that belies its creation – you can feel the sun, predict a rain squall, squint at a water’s reflection.”
Patrick says the artists “have a passion for art history, the artists who came before us as well as for artists who are our contemporaries. We are lifelong learners, travelers, painters and teachers, mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts.”
Visitors to the exhibition should be drawn through the paintings to the beauty of the world, Patrick says. “We hope to present a subject from a point of view that someone else may not have considered. Seeing comes first, then comes the desire to protect and preserve.
“Viewers will see the work of experienced artists who are committed to their own growth and expanding knowledge, fueled by a passion for painting outdoors,” she adds. “When one enters either gallery, they will see landscapes, seascapes, mountains, rivers and trees and perhaps a person or two. We hope that people who see our paintings are impressed by how we have captured the character of natural light and shadow, atmosphere and mood.”
The women in the group have been inspired by Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, John Singer Sargent and others – “painters who are known for exquisite plein air paintings,” Patrick says. “The love of nature, the joy of painting and the enjoyment in our camaraderie inspired this exhibit.”
This is the fourth group exhibition for the women featuring their plein air work. “We have been making art in various media for many years and have been included in numerous juried shows,” Patrick adds. “Most of us have been painting together since 2017.
“We are excited to have our second exhibit at the Artists Collective | Spartanburg, and happy that ours runs concurrently with the third annual juried show in the Solomon Gallery,” she says. “We are thankful for the gallery space at the Collective, and for the support it gives to art in the Spartanburg area and our region.”
The exhibition will include 35 works, which will be for sale with prices ranging from $350 to $3,000.