Painting isn’t usually a spectator sport, but it will be this weekend in Hillsboro, when established and amateur artists alike will gather for the 7th Annual Hillsboro Plein Air COURTESY PHOTO - Artists will paint in the open, where anyone can watch their progress, at this weekends Plein Air competition in Hillsboro.

The outdoor painting begins at 8 a.m. on Friday and will take place in three locations around downtown Hillsboro.

“This is a great way to show the town how many creative people we have here,” said Maggie Chapin, program supervisor for the Hillsboro Arts and Culture Council, which sponsors the two-day event. “But it also gives us a chance to highlight the beautiful areas of Hillsboro through an artist’s eyes.”

For the main competition, artists can take the full two days to paint one of three scenes: the historic downtown neighborhood bordered by 1st, 6th, Lincoln and Washington streets; the Hillsboro Farmers’ Market; or Rood Bridge Park, a new, “perfect” location, Chapin said.

“It has beautiful pathways, lily pads, a river and some forested areas. People are going to love it.”

Another new site was sparked by last year’s experience. “Without anyone officially organizing it,” Chapin said, “painters decided to focus on nocturnal scenes, meaning they painted into the nighttime.” So this year, one of the official subjects is Primrose & Tumbleweeds, a restaurant and wine bar which was a popular spot for nocturnal painting last year.

There is also a Quick Draw competition, in which artists are given two hours to paint a tableau-vivant, or a “living picture.” Members of the Hillsboro Artists’ Repertory Theatre will don costumes from Lavender’s Green Historic Clothing and pose for the artists. Friday’s Quick Draw will take place at Rood Bridge Park from 3 to 5 p.m. while Saturday’s Quick Draw will be held at the Washington County Courthouse from 9.30 to 11.30 a.m.

“We really encourage people to come and watch the painters, especially during the tableau vivant,” said Chapin. “They only have two hours, so you get to see the entire painting done, start to finish.”

A gallery exhibit at the Walters Cultural Arts Center will showcase competitive and non-competitive works from the plein air event Oct. 1 through Nov. 19. Last year, they hosted 41 artists from the competition. They hope to reach at least 50 this year.

The French term “plein air” translates to “in the open,” a tradition started with French Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet and Pierre-August Renoir, who would take to the outdoors to work on their art.

“Plein air painting gives me a real connection to the natural landscape. The sounds and smells all enrich the experience,” said Alice Hill, a local painter, HACC painting instructor and past participant.

The Walters center will host People’s Choice voting and a reception at 5 p.m. on Saturday. There will be cash prizes for the best paintings in each category.

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine