Morristown Hosts 25 Plein Air Artists

For more than a century artists have been searching for the best light to paint their landscapes “en plein air”, as the movement, started in Paris, is called.  Natural light became more and more important to the impressionists and all who followed.  In 1850 painting became a moveable feast: an American fashioned tin tubes for carrying pigments and a Frenchman created the box easel, highly portable, on telescoping legs with a palette and paint box built in.  Artists and their easels dotted river banks, perched on roof tops, sat in forest clearings searching for the fleeting yellows and blues of very early day, the brilliant fires of noon, the grays and magentas of dusk.

Winslow Homer

The special quality of northern light brought groups of artists together in northern Europe and North Amercia.  The movement flourished in upstate New York with Charles Chapman, Frederick Remington and Winslow Homer among its practitioners.

Charles S. Chapman and students c1930

This year from August 1 to 4 the Morristown Public Library will celelbrate “Plein Air Festival 2013”, a gathering of artists from New York City, Rochester, Brant Lake, Syracuse, Northville, Morristown, Clayton, Wellesley Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ontario who will be in the village and the town for four days, painting at outdoor sites along the St. Lawrence River, in the town and the country roads, hosted by property owners and the library’s committee of volunteers.

Despite the challenges of time and place, the painters will allow quiet visitors to watch them work.  A “newsstand” outside the library will list the artists’ painitng sites for each day along with the news of the other daily events, from a vineyard exhibit and lecture, book sale, meet-and-greet BBQ, kids entertainment, silent auction and award presentation with door prizes.  The best works will be offered for sale with the library getting a percentage of the selling price.  There will be daily opportunities for visitors to mingle with the artists at events.

TO SEE THE COMPLETE SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES GO TO THE PLEIN AIR FESTIVAL DROP-DOWN MENU ON THE TOP OF THIS PAGE!