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Penticton en plein air

Above the Marina, 2007, Glenn Clark

The Penticton Art Gallery is pleased to once again host Penticton en plein air, as a kick-off event for the Arts Rising Festival later in September.  The PAG has invited artists working in the genre to create works of art in Penticton along Okanagan Lake from the Sicamous to the esplanade and immediate surrounding area on Saturday, September 9th and Sunday September 10th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The general public is welcome to come observe the artists at work and get a sneak preview of the works to be exhibited in a wet painting sale that will run until September 24th.  

The registration cost of twenty dollars will be used to host a wine and Greek reception for the artists at the gallery Saturday at 6 pm.  This is an opportune time to participate with thousands of visitors expected during the two week exhibition through a busy schedule at the gallery that includes The Tibetan Monks, an exhibition opening reception at the Penticton Art Gallery and the Arts Rising Festival.  

Download the registration form here and the event guidelines here.

'Plein air' is a term derived from the French phrase en plein air, which literally means 'in the open air'. It's a familiar concept today, but in the late 1800s when the Impressionists ventured out of their studios into nature to investigate and capture the effects of sunlight and different times of the day on a subject, it was quite revolutionary. Artists like Edouard Manet, Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir took their easels and new tubes of paint outdoors. They quickly realised that it was not form the eye perceived but light on a form, and light could be conveyed by colour!

Plein air painting is all about painting in the great outdoors, on location, surrounded by your subject. No studio, no photos to copy from, just you and nature, one on one. This type of painting requires certain techniques, materials, equipment and.... a certain type of artist. “Plein Air” painters work on location to quickly capture the fleeting light effects that occur in nature. Typically the initial painting is completed on location in two to three hours before the quality of the light changes. The artist may return to the same location at the same time of day to complete the work, or may make adjustments in the studio.

Painting in this manner, rather than from photographs, gives the artwork a quality of being truthful to nature and conveys an atmosphere and feeling of a place that is not achievable by any other means. When viewing a Plein Air painting, you can almost imagine yourself in the scene.


Further information on Penticton en plein air will be available at the gallery and available for anyone wishing to learn more about the art of Plein air.

Earlier Event: September 8
First Fridays | Harvest
Later Event: September 13
Drepung Loseling Monks