‘Plein air’ is a French expression which means ‘in the open air’, and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors. Artists have long painted outdoors, but in the mid-19th century, working in natural light became particularly important, and with the introduction of paints in tubes, became even more popular.
French Impressionist painters, such as Monet and Renoir, did much of their work outdoors in the diffuse light provided by a large white umbrella. The Canadian Group of Seven is another example of plein air advocates.
For 11 years painters around the world have been holding Worldwide Paint Outs. Held in September, this event is a celebration of plein air painting.
In Barriere, the North Thompson Arts Council (NTAC) will host a plein air event on Sept. 14 and 15 at Fadear Park. If the weather is inclement, you will find the artists on the Bandshell stage; if it is nice, they will be throughout the park. Anyone who likes to paint is welcome to join the artists in the park. Just bring your own painting equipment and a chair, and pick out a spot to paint from.
There will also be some paper and a few sets of water colour paints for the kids who don’t have any to bring, to paint with. This event will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
You can attend for an hour, or for the whole day … just remember to bring a lunch with you if you plan to stay all day.
For more information, contact Margaret Houben, NTAC secretary, at 250-672-9330 (evenings).
The next meeting of the North Thompson Arts Council will be its annual general meeting on Sept. 22, 2 p.m., at the Little Fort Hall. New members are always welcome.