mike-calles-russell-case  Last week I was invited to go out ‘plein air painting’ with an exclusive group of talented painters from northern Utah.  Plein air painting is the French word for painting outside.  The informal group set up their various pochade boxes and braved the rains last Wednesday.  The other artists besides me were Shanna Kunz, G. Russell Case, George Hanrahan, Gregory Stocks, brothers – Seth & Simon Winegar, Jon Johnson, Mark Willar and Mike Calles.  Regulars, John Poon & Doug Braithwaite decided to rain-check on us.  Each week, the talented painters meet on Wednesdays to paint on location around the greater Salt Lake City area.
I’m an Idaho girl without a strong network of professional artists in my area, so I jumped at the chance when my good friend a fellow landscape artist, Shanna Kunz invited me.
Like most of the North West, the weather has been unusually wet.  But, we all decided to go out rain or shine!
After a 4 hour drive down to Utah, I met up the painters – and boy, shanna-kunzwhat a powerhouse of talent!  It is always good to get out of the studio and into the field with fellow artists.  This professional group had no hidden agenda other than to paint!  seth1
Cold, windy and very wet, the weather was not for the weary!  But artists are resourceful so we spent a lot of time painting from the tail-gates or from the inside of our cars.  car-paintingSuprisingly, the unfavorable conditions didn’t stop us from painting  some nice little gems.  seth-simon-winegarIn fact, rainy days are often the most interesting to paint.
We all enjoyed swapping stories and networking with other professional artists amid the torrential rains.  After a few hours of painting, it was fun to see the varied differences in all of our studies.  Basically, we all looked at the same scenes, but each painting was unique.
Artist, Russell Case invited us all back to his amazing studio for a much needed lunch break.  Russell’s work has been heavily influenced by turn of the century landscape masters, Edgar Payne & Maynard Dixon.  I was so impressed with Russell’s new studio and his body of artwork that I am planning a post on him in the near future….
Magically after lunch, the sun poked out and we were able to paint for the rest of the afternoon in Russell’s beautiful backyard.                                                                                   utah-plein-air-painters
Some of us chose to paint on his lawn while facing the wetlands behind Russells property.  George, Mike and Russell enjoyed the second half of the day while painting from the comfort of Russell’s studio balcony.

george-mike-russellPlein air painting  takes courage.  It takes the artist out of the creature comforts of the studio and into nature.  In our studios, we are in control.  But, out in the field Mother Nature takes charge. That is why an outdoor study has a freshness and vitality that most often is lost in a studio painting from photographs.  Painting outside deepens our knowledge of light and color and enriches our studio work.

It was an enjoyable painting adventure despite the dreary weather.  Like any other artist, sometimes we hit and sometimes we miss.  But, no matter how successful our paintings were or were not – we all captured the essense and memories of the day.

I hope you can get out and paint! Lori 🙂

Below I are some examples of the artists’ hits!

russell-case   gregorystocks    john-poon1


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