by Natural Light
104 to offer exhibit of
plein air works by 12 artists
landscapes will be on display
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (March 2011) A fresher, honest
painting is what you get with painting in plein air, according to local
artist Beverly Bruntz. She prefers the visual image one gets with this
medium that was popularized in the 1870s.
Plein air is a French expression meaning in the open air,
which is literally how plein air artists paint. I like being outside,
said Bruntz. Kentucky has beautiful landscapes.
left, Liz Coomes and Evonne
Williams paint during a recent plein
air painting event in Oldham County.
She said the visual image you get with a plein air painting
contains details that cant be captured through a photograph and
then transferred to canvas. It can only be acquired while painting on
Bruntz, 48, has painted in oils, but mostly creates smaller works in
plein air. During the wintertime she will take some of these same images
and paint them on a larger scale in her studio.
Bruntz will be part of a group of twelve plein air artists who are taking
part in a new exhibit at Gallery 104 in La Grange. Painting Oldham
County in Plein Air will hang in the gallery from March 22 to
May 14. An Opening Reception is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday,
Approximately 30 pieces are in the exhibit, said Angie Campbell, exhibit
organizer. Several of the artists have either been students of Campbell
or have works currently hanging in Gallery 104.
While all artists may not be from Oldham County, all have painted within
the county in the last year, said Campbell. As a movement, plein air
is coming back, she said. The movement started in the 1800s, and
there are several groups around. It is big in California.
Plein air has its roots in Impressionism, a style of painting common
in the mid-19th century. Plein air increased in popularity with the
introduction of paints in tubes, whereas artists had previously had
to grind and mix their own pigment powders with linseed oil.
The Box Easel, a highly portable easel, was invented during this time
as well. Its telescopic legs and built-in paint box and palette made
painting in plein air a desirable medium.
Many modern artists choose to paint in plein air because it is
a whole different atmosphere, Campbell said. The light changes
constantly, and you have to paint much faster than you would in a studio
setting. You dont have as much time to spend on each piece. Plus,
it gets you outside.
Working in natural light appeals to artists such as Bruntz. She will
have three pieces in the exhibit: Main Street La Grange,
Summers Bounty, and Sunflower Fields.
Bruntz was trained in a studio, receiving her Masters in Art from California
State University, Fullerton. She worked in commercial art as a graphic
designer until about five years ago when she decide to paint full time.
Her family is originally from Somerset, Ky and she moved to CA after
college. She moved back to Kentucky in 2009, settling near Bagdad in
Shelby County, Ky to be closer to her family in Oldham County. She said
she likes being close to Louisville, without actually living in Louisville.
I enter quite a few shows a year, said Bruntz, who has been
juried into nationwide and regional shows. She exhibits locally when
she can and has her work in galleries in Louisville and Lexington.
I like to paint rural, more open spaces, she said. If she
can get access to private property, she likes to paint landscapes. Because
colors are different in natural light than under studio lighting, her
work has an exhilarating, lively feeling to it.
I enjoy painting scenery up close and personal, she said.
For more information, contact Angie Campbell
at (502) 222-1698 or Gallery 104 at (502) 222-3822.
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