Plein Air Returns for 2019 – Here’s the complete lineup of all 20 artists for the 2019 Gloucester Arts Festival.
I paint with longing. A longing to be a part of something greater than myself; to participate in the beauty of the natural world and to understand it more deeply. Also, I paint because it is work and it brings me joy to work and share what I’ve made.
2016-2018 have been busy years for Virginia plein air artist, Andre Lucero, who was cover artist for the Plein Air Magazine Feb/Mar 2016 issue and was featured in Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, American Art Collector Magazine. During these years Andre participated in twenty-seven plein air competitions, winning twenty award ribbons.
After over thirty years as a graphic designer, I now consider myself a “professional plein air painter” participating in ten to fifteen national competitions a year since 2013. My representational paintings have been described by art critics as “evoking nostalgia, like that of an old sepia toned photograph, often with just touches of color.” My subject matter includes finding beauty in buildings that are often beyond their prime.
Carole Böggemann Peirson
We live on the beautiful Eastern Shore of Virginia peninsula where I often fall in love with a scene on the spot. Usually, it’s the light that catches my eye and makes me look at it more closely. I try to capture it outdoors when possible or take photos for reference. In the studio, I try to re-create the feeling I had when I fell in love with a place or particular time of day or season. The most important elements are the things you can’t see, such as temperature or humidity, chirping of crickets, soft breeze or smell of marsh mud. If I do my job as a visual story teller, the viewer will experience all those things when looking at the piece!
In my work I explore the world around me. Art gives me the opportunity to analyze both the physical properties and psychological effects of my subjects. I focus on the honest experience of seeing. I do not observe something simply as unique or beautiful, but allow my mind to think, question, and respond intellectually to the subject. To focus on beauty alone denies both artist and viewer the full experience of observation and intelligent response. My art represents this process of seeing. The final result of the work is not a representation of one idea, but a multilayered response spawned from repeated observation.
I feel the most natural when I am painting, and also the most challenged, which keeps me striving. The notion of time is always in my consciousness. I have a pressing drive to create and a consistent work habit. When I’m plein air painting, I am fully in the present, observing the line of a tree limb or the effects of light and shadow. Two or three hours of this concentrated attention seems timeless. My intention is for my paintings to show a dynamic relationship between spatial depth and surface pattern, an interaction of color, and an expressive variety of brushstrokes.
Doug Clarke is an award winning Plein Air and Studio painter based out of Virginia Beach. He works in oils creating plein air and studio paintings. Graduating with Honors and Magna Cum Laude from Virginia Commonwealth University, Doug’s work has evolved from commercial to fine art. As an active member of the Norfolk Drawing Group, the painter strives for excellence in his figure drawings and paintings. His commitment to life drawing and painting led him outdoors to paint “en plein air”. There he realized his passion for capturing light and nature in his own personal way.
I work in oils on a large and small scale and prefer to work en plein air as much as possible. Small works take a few hours and large ones can take a few weeks. I return to paint at the same time everyday. I like to paint the lengthening shadows and lowering light that occur toward the end of day or the softer light of early morning. Ideally, I want my work to have a sense of light traveling through air in space. Having a palpable sense of air in a painting is very important to me. The light and shadow define the mundane objects of a landscape I see as disappearing: small family farms or the rural industrial look that at one time was representative of many small towns. I have worked primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region, coastal Maine, Texas and western France.
J. Stacy Rogers
I approach each new landscape painting is if it’s a silent story to be told in paint brushed onto a canvas. Tales of hope, aspiration, failure, or anguish can be interpreted from the quality of available light falling on nature-made or man-made landscapes. More importantly, these landscape stories, when painted en plein air, have the unique qualities of immediacy and freshness having been created on site and in the moment.
Joe Gyurcsak paints a broad range of subject matter including interiors, still life, figurative and landscape painting. He has a keen sense for capturing the essence of his subject matter with a bold and candid approach.
Joe studied at Parsons School of Design and The School of Visual Arts in New York and had a successful illustration career early on. Later went on to study with many leading representational painters of our time in pursuit of a fine art career.
John Brandon Sills
Art is the external expression of an internal vision. To demonstrate this awareness, rather than painting light on things, I paint the light that becomes things.
I refer to my art as Sophisticated Chaos, where a planned design and structured drawing give way to an expressive painting. My work has a basis in the representational, but dissolves into varying levels of abstraction. I often draw inspiration from scenes of complex forms, and incorporate a sense of movement and interconnectedness with expressive brushwork, scrubbing, spraying, dripping and splattering. The resulting final piece becomes a rich and textural experience, and a painting with a very physical presence.
I am a landscape painter. Period. I am drawn to areas that we see but don’t notice, that seem unimportant—that no one notices by me. And I say, “Look.” Alla prima, au premier coup—all at once, first strike. My work has always been about this. Because I paint with a palette knife, the paint goes onto the surface very differently than with a brush. Whether en plein air or studio, once I’ve completed my thought process, I work until the painting is done, in a very direct manner. My preliminary plans include not just composition, but where I will stop and start, at logical ‘seams’. Once the paint has begun to harden, I can’t as easily push and pull the paint around, or blend. My work en plein air is fueled not only by constantly changing light and weather, but also by the locations I choose.
My passion is plein air painting and the authentic experience of working directly from life. I approach painting as an opportunity to explore something new; a new subject matter, a new color or technique. That’s one of the things I love about plein air and painting from life, the experience will be different and exciting every time. I try to capture the essence of a scene and my paintings are just as much about a moment in time as about a specific scene or subject. Working in Pastels and Oils, I use vibrant colors in an energetic painterly fashion to capture the light and mood of a location.
Meg Nottingham Walsh
My goal as an artist is to translate the landscape, revealing what interests me most about a specific place at a moment in time, whether it be a dramatic shadow pattern, the blazing heat of a summer day, or the roiling sky of a passing storm. In other words, I want you to see the world through my eyes. My favorite studio is the great outdoors. Dealing with the challenges of rapidly changing light forces me to focus on the essence of a scene, and I like the sense of immediacy it lends to my work. I strive for an honest rendition of the subject before me, often limiting my values, colors, and shapes in order to emphasize what I feel is most important.
My work is about seeing the beauty in creation… making a connection between art and nature. To work as an artist is a blessing. For me painting is a process that allows me to share my personal vision of the subject by utilizing traditional techniques and exploring new ways of working. I have come to treasure the experience and the journey of working to create art and the opportunity to grow with each new painting. I feel that art can elevate the everyday and ordinary and allows us to see beauty that might otherwise be missed. My hope is that all who see my work will experience the joy and beauty that I experience while creating it.
Through painting, I try to connect more deeply with, and create lasting depictions of, the people, places and things I observe. I also hope to connect with the culture and inquiries of others who have shared the pursuit, ancient and innate, of transfiguring pigments into semblances of the observed world. The process of capturing visual “truth” is largely technical, as the eye is a mechanical structure. But all things are observed through veils of memory, meaning, and other interventions of the subjective mind. Therefore, the resulting depictions can be to varying degrees traditional or explorative, emotional or detached, scientific or spiritual… On a personal level, I consider my paintings to be testaments to time spent, souvenirs of experiences.
My paintings reflect my lifelong fascination with light and the effect it has on the landscape. Early mornings and late afternoons bring the contrast and value patterns that I attempt to capture in all of my work. Time spent in “the woods” or on rural byways will lead to mental compositions of paintings yet to be realized. An atmosphere, a ray of light rimming an object or a distant stand of trees. Working with oils and pastels helps me to interpret the images and the feelings that they evoke. It is my hope that the viewer of my work will share in my sense of wonder.
Whether painting vast open areas or intimate spaces, I want my painting to resonate with an idea of a place or history. Although painting is largely an act of intuition, the way a mark is made is as important as the final image..there is a tension between abstraction and intuition, leaving the viewer a chance to react and participate.
William C. Wright
I have always been interested in art and my parents encouraged me from an early age. I took art classes throughout school and graduated from California College of Arts and Crafts in 1978 with a BFA degree in painting. I have always been interested in realists work. Andrew Wyeth had a great influence on me in high school. After college, I became fascinated with still-life work and the watercolors of Carolyn Brady and John Stewart Ingle. For many years I painted exclusively in watercolor making complicated realistic images of tabletop arrangements. I chose to back light these still-lifes to create casted shadows and strong contrasts. These shadows unifided the design and added an abstract element to the piece.