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MEEKER I The Plein Air Meeker 2016 art competition has returned this year, and the competition paint-out is now underway through June 30.
During paint out, which began June 15, fans can keep an eye open for artists painting outside, almost anywhere throughout Rio Blanco County.
The finished paintings will be available to view and purchase at the Meeker Public Library at the close of the paint-out. Pre-event purchasing privileges will be available to patrons only on July 1.
The public Plein Air Art Show and Auction will be open July 2 through July 4. All are welcome.
For those who aren’t familiar with the term “plein air,” a plein air painting is loosely defined as a “painting completed in the field. “
The term “plein air” derives from the French term “en plein air,” which translates “in the open air.” It has been actively practiced for the last 150 years and came to prominence with the Impressionist movement.
Plein air’s popularity followed on the tails of the westward expansion in America. Many familiar names are associated with plein air art such as Thomas Moran, John Singer Sargent, Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, to name just a few.
Painting plein air in a natural setting is very different from working from a photograph or in a studio. An artist has about 90 minutes to two hours on a sunny day before the light changes—often drastically.
Sometimes to finish a piece they have to wait for the same time/conditions another day or year.
Plein air painting forces one to make quick decisions about composition, color and finishing. These pieces also tend to express the true feel of a place more completely.
The immediacy of painting amid the heat, cold, gnats, wind or rain translates into the work and, sometimes, interesting challenges arise. Plein air requires a more accurate knowledge of color, atmosphere and sometime wildlife.
There has been a resurgence in plein air painting in recent years. Many painters travel to different locations from the East Coast to the West Coast and to Europe to paint.
It is not uncommon to see painters working off the side of the road all around Rio Blanco County. Please keep your eyes open when traveling throughout the county.