Plein air painters have Saturday date to Paint Out
Award-winning painter Glen Hawkins, whose work is featured in the film “Sweetwater Rescue,” produced by Lee Groberg for PBS, will be one of 20 artists represented by Gallery MAR and other galleries who will Plein Air Paint Out this Saturday at Park City Nursery.
Hawkins, who has been represented by Gallery MAR since it opened 10 years ago, also enjoys woodworking and his easel will be little different than a traditional setup.
“I design and build all my own easels, pochade and paint boxes,” he said. “I have built a nice lightweight system that I can carry on my Harley (Davidson). I’m currently working on a easel that will allow me to paint large canvases plein air.”
Hawkins and the other artists will place themselves throughout the seven-acre nursery and paint from 3-6 p.m.
“I think this is a cool idea,” Hawkins said. “It’s a perfect combination for artists to be in a nursery. There should be a ton of things to paint.”
During the free event, attendees will have opportunities to talk with the artists about their works.
“I enjoy talking with people while I’m painting,” Hawkins said. “It’s fun to hear their questions and let them watch the painting develop from beginning to end.”
The Plein Air Paint Out was conceived by Gallery MAR owner Maren Mullin and Park City Nursery owner Sophy Kohler.
“Sophy is a wonderful person and a dear friend of mine, and she hosts a garden stroll where guests can visit the nursery, get a little something to eat and to drink and figure out what they want to do with their own gardens, based on what she has to offer in terms of plants and flowers,” Mullin said. “We talked about coordinating an event together, and what we decided to do was bring in a collection of artists and have them paint works that are inspired by being in a garden.”
The finished works will be put on display while Mullin and Kohler ju the top three pieces and award the artists cash prizes.
“If people like the paintings, they are free to buy the art from the artists directly,” Mullin said.
Hawkins, who started his artistic journey as a figure artist and moved to plein air 20 years ago, said those works capture more than a copy of the scene he sees.
“We live in an age where everyone is walking around with an HD camera in their pocket, (and) capturing a scene is a click away,” he said. “I enjoy pushing the abstraction. I love it when a painting is so abstract that unlike a photo up close, their are no recognizable ‘things.’ However, (when) viewed as a whole, the paint triggers the experience and feelings of being in nature.”
The painter does use the techniques he developed as a figure artist in his plein air works.
“The drawing skills required for figure and portrait can help you block in and paint the quickly changing light of a plein air landscape, and the painting plein air in different seasons and locations will help you see and use more variety of color combinations in your figure and studio work,” he said. “It is also and advantage to be able to include figures in the landscape and vice versa.”
The Plein Air Paint Out, which is part of the Park City Nursery’s garden stroll, which takes place on the second Saturday of each month, will also feature live acoustic music performed by singer and songwriter Nicole Paradiso, drinks and appetizers, Kohler said.
“The garden strolls are regular events we do 9nine months of the year,” she said. “We try to make each stroll different because the nursery is seasonal,” she said.
Mullin approached Kohler last fall about expanding one of the garden strolls to include artists.
“I thought it would be better if it could take place at peak lushness in June or July, so we decided to talk about it again in the spring,” Kohler said. “And that’s when we put it in the books.”
Kohler said artists can paint anywhere they want, including alongside the creek that runs through the property.
“I want the artists to put their easels wherever they feel inspiration,” she said.
There are still artist openings, so those who want to participate for free can contact Mullin by calling 435-649-3001 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kohler has enjoyed planning the event with Mullin.
“It’s a huge compliment that Gallery MAR would want to come and bring her artists here,” Kohler said. “It’s an early summer kick off for people to enjoy the art and music.”
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