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September 9, 2009 > Plein Air painting is not plain art

Plein Air painting is not plain art

By Emma Victoria G. Blanco

The Fremont Art Association (FAA) is proud to present the Second Annual Plein Air Paint Out. This one day event at Lake Elizabeth (Central Park) in Fremont is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 12.

Plein air simply means outdoors or "in the open air." a popular and important style of painting in the mid-19th century. Working in natural light became an essential aspect of artists' works. It was also a time when "paints in tubes" were introduced and the "box easel" (also known as the French Box Easel) was invented. Portability made it easier for artists to trek into forests and hillsides.

Local plein air artist Robyn Leimer was last year's first place winner and this year's Event Manager. She stated, "I enjoy plein air painting because it is such a challenge. You have to work fast because the scene changes so quickly. At the same time I am using all my senses to experience nature. I can remember sounds or feelings I had at certain places I have painted. You try to capture the essence of a place, sometimes you nail it and sometimes you don't. But you remember what it felt like being there every time you look at the painting."

Professional and amateur artists are all welcome to take part in this fun family event, but must be at least 18 years old. There is an entry fee of $10 for FAA members and $20 for non-members (the latter fee includes full FAA membership through the end of the year). All two-dimensional mediums will be accepted, including oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels and mixed media. Artists may paint from anywhere within the park at the location of their choice, not from a reference photograph. Artists should bring all supplies needed to paint (e.g., an easel and chair). A bag lunch, drinking water, hats and umbrellas are also encouraged.

Artists may register starting at 9 a.m. and have their blank canvases time stamped. Painting will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude by 2 p.m. Completed entries will be turned in and put on display at the Park Pavilion, where a silent auction will be taking place and visitors may browse through the entries and submit their votes for the People's Choice Awards.

This community event is co-sponsored by the Olive Hyde Art Guild, the Fremont Cultural Arts Council, Mission Coffee Roasting Company (who will provide coffee and mini-pastries for the artists at registration time), and the East Bay Community Foundation (a Hal Booth Foundation) whose donation will cover the awards for this year's top three People's Choice winners.

Fremont's Lake Elizabeth and Central Park offer a plethora of scenes and/or subjects from which artists can draw inspiration. It is also a chance for participants to meet fellow artists and engage visitors. "The paint out is special to me because not only is it bringing art out to the community, it is also bringing artists together on the same playing field where they can share their passion with others," enthused Leimer.

Paint Out rules and application forms are available online at the FAA website at or at the FAA Gallery (37659 Niles Blvd., Fremont).

For registration you MUST contact Robyn Leimer at (510) 656-4939, by Friday, September 11.

Plein Air Paint Out
September 12
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Lake Elizabeth/Central Park
40000 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont
(510) 656-4939

Reception and Silent Auction
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Park Pavilion

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