It finally appears that the summer weather is here to stay.
Warm, sunny days are drawing folks outside for some long-awaited, much-needed exercise. In between jogs, bike rides, and laps around the pool, make sure to take the time to train and flex creative muscles.
The Annapolis Valley serves as the perfect subject for landscape painting, which is why Edward Wedler of Plein Air Art looks forward to every one of his community painting sessions.
Early in the year, Wedler puts out a list of 26 different locations across the Valley spread over 26 weeks, and he welcomes anyone to attend. The locations range from Digby to Windsor. On July 18 and 21, Plein Air Art is going to be on scene at Miner’s Marsh in Kentville.
The free sessions begin at 10 a.m. every Thursday and Sunday, no matter the weather. Wedler begins the morning by informing everyone of property lines and areas to stay away from, and after that the artists set out to find their inspiration.
“The painting exercise usually lasts around two-and-a-half hours, and then we get together again around 12:30 p.m. for the group critique,” Wedler says.
“Some people will have finished in this time, some people will have finished two in this time, or they may not finish at all. Whatever the case, we still meet at 12:30 p.m.”
For a novice painter, the thought of having work criticized can be intimidating. However, Wedler says it’s quite positive and a great learning experience.
“People usually say, ‘Oh, I don’t want my art critiqued,’ but when they experience it, they realize it’s actually a very useful and uplifting part of the session. Everyone goes one at a time and explains what they painted - like show-and-tell. The critique portion is broken down into three parts,” he explains.
“The first gives everyone the opportunity to say what was strong about a particular piece or what appealed to everyone, no matter the skill level of the artist. There’s always something good in everyone’s work.”
The second part gives the artist a chance to explain the process and challenges encountered, while the third part focuses on helpful suggestions.
“We go through this whole process one artist at a time. Not only beneficial to hear how you can improve your work, but also how others can improve on theirs,” said Wedler.
The group critique is about a half hour session, and then after that people are welcome to have a picnic, socialize, or just head home.
Wedler emphasizes that the sessions are open to anyone, regardless of skill or resources.
“Anyone is welcome to come, no matter your age or how much skill you have. Just in case, bring a pencil and a piece of paper, but it’s a great opportunity to learn and watch others work on their art. Often, people will show up and play some music or write - it’s a great time to express your creativity.”
The group also does several art shows wherein artists will bring a few completed pieces and put them on exhibition.
CHECK IT OUT
For a complete list of dates and locations, click here.