Plein Air this Weekend


Plein Air Paint Out artists out in the open, painting Pike Road

Organizers are expecting more than 40 artists to take part in the 7th annual Pike Road Plein Air Paint Out to be held Oct. 26-27. Pike Road students also will be creating some works of their own.

The two-day event will include two live painting demonstrations, an awards show and dozens of artists painting throughout the community.

Plein air painting is the practice of leaving the studio behind and taking the brush and canvass out into natural surroundings. Pike Road’s beauty makes the community an ideal backdrop for the Paint Out.   All participating artists will paint at various spots across the community throughout the day on Oct. 26, and for several hours on Oct. 27. Stay tuned on Pike Road social media – just search @townofpikeroad on Facebook,

Instagram or Twitter – for live updates during the Paint Out, Pike Road communications specialist Turner Waddell said.

Artist Barbara Davis will hold the first painting demonstration at Lake Sweet Tea at The Waters development at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 26. Alicia Koch will appear on Oct. 27 at 8:30 a.m. at Lake Sweet Tea.

“With regards to Friday and Saturday’s live painting demonstrations, featuring Barbara Davis and Alisa Koch respectively, people will see the way different creative styles and application techniques create a variety of impressions from a single scene,” Waddell said. “Painting demonstrations allow even the most inexperienced artists or art enthusiasts to gain a better appreciation for the way plein air artists employ technique and skill to capture light and shadow. Plein air painting also forces one to observe the ways light and color change during any given day, encouraging flexibility and an eye for detail.”

When entering The Waters from Marler Road, Lake Sweet Tea will be visible just past the tennis courts on the left. While this is the central location for Friday and Saturday’s live art demonstrations, the artists will choose where around the lake they set up.

“If people come to watch artists they will see different creative styles and application of art,” Paint Out organizer Patty Payne said. “People who watch would gain a better appreciation for the skill plein air artists employ to capture light and shadow.”

Payne added that 44 artists will take part in the Paint Out. They are predominantly from the organization Alabama Plein Air Artists, which can be visited at

Other artists will travel from Florida, Georgia and even Ohio to participate, she said.

She said plein air painting has been referred to as the new golf with regards to hobbies. “People travel widely to paint in plein air, and the number of festivals are growing each year,” Payne said.

The live demonstrations by professional artists on both Friday and Saturday are new for the Pike Road Paint Out.

“Barbara (Davis) is recognized widely for her brushwork and impressionist style,” Payne said. “Alicia (Koch) is recognized for her use of the palette knife in the impressionist style.”

Payne and Waddell both hope the Paint Out inspires others to learn more about art, value art, and take an interest in both collecting and learning to create art themselves.

“We hope the event inspires others to explore the creative process, reflect on the variety of ways that individuals perceive the same scenes, and take an interest in collecting art and, or learning to create art themselves,” Waddell said. “Each artist participating in the 2018 Plein Air Paint Out experienced a different journey that led them to where they are today, and the artists range from professionals to hobbyists. Together, they make up a community of people pursuing their passions and sharing them with the world – this is a positive message we can all carry with us.”

The Art Show and Sale will be at The New Waters Realty in The Waters starting at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 27. Works by the plein air artists will be shown. Refreshments also will be available.

“During the art show and sale, the community will have the opportunity to get to know the artists and view or purchase all the artists’ work, including fresh works from the Paint Out and additional pieces they have brought with them,” Waddell said.

Wet art will be judged by Montgomery artist George Taylor, Payne said.

The public can vote for the People’s Choice award from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  “Those who vote for the People’s Choice award will be eligible for a gift valued over $300!” Payne said. “This event will have about 200 pieces of original art available for sale.”

One voter will receive the prize basket featuring local businesses, and winning artists will receive cash prizes. The first 100 visitors will receive gift bags.

Through the 7th Annual Plein Air Paint Out, the Pike Road Arts Council is excited to share their love of the arts with students from Pike Road Elementary School. Students will be creating 72 eight inch by eight inch panels of their impressions of Claude Monet’s famous water lily paintings, Waddell said.

Many of Monet’s paintings were more than six feet tall, and by painting 72 panels and displaying them together, the students pay homage not only to the size of Monet’s works, but also to the vastness of his collection, Waddell added. Monet completed more than 250 water lily paintings in the last 30 years of his life, she said.

Through this project, students will learn about plein air painting, impressionism, and the history of Monet’s home in Giverny, France, where Monet himself painted outdoors in his garden. Their work will be displayed at New Waters Realty on Oct. 26-27.

The Paint Out is presented by the Pike Road Arts Council, formed in 2012 as part of the ENHANCE Initiative. ENHANCE is a detailed plan for accomplishing work in four key areas known as the town’s four pillars: quality of life, planning, services and education. ENHANCE stresses the enrichment of quality of life, and includes organizations and projects related to exercise, nutrition, health, agriculture, nature and community education.

“The Pike Road Paint Out is one of the arts council’s main events each year. Providing opportunities for the community to enjoy art, learn about art and pursue art is in keeping with the arts council’s mission.” Payne said.

The Arts Council is an ENHANCE initiative committee that engages citizens of the Town of Pike Road and the greater community who have unique gifts in the fine arts and encourages them to use those gifts to bring a greater overall appreciation of the arts to the area. Other Arts Council events include the new Art Talk & Afternoon Tea series, the annual Pike Road Art Market, and an annual production of Crossroads Theater. Visit for more information.

While you’re here, check out our listings!

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