Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Plein air group stops by Niwot


Photo by Karen Copperberg Boulder Plein Air members gathered in Niwot last week to paint around Cottonwood Square. The group meets once a week in various places.

Boulder County Plein Air made a stop in Niwot last week to paint their versions of Cottonwood Square and the surrounding area.

Carolyn Bradley, a member and the person in charge of finding “the place to paint,” said that group enjoys coming to town.

Plein Air basically means painting outdoors, something the Boulder group does every Thursday — weather permitting.

“It just means painting outside,” Bradley said. “Technically you’re supposed to finish the painting outside on-site and not do work in the studio afterwards.”

Bradley and other members are always keeping an eye out for somewhere to gather.

“I just try and find places to paint,” Bradley said. “We usually do that in the mornings and then get together for lunch and do a small critique.”

This group is about 10 years running and is a branch of Plein Air Artists of Colorado, a group that started in Denver about 20 years ago.

Bradley said that there are anywhere from seven to 15 members that come regularly, but there are over 150 on the mailing list.

“You can come whenever you want,” Bradley said. “You don’t have to say you’re coming or commit to it. Just show up and paint.”

Some of the artists show their work in galleries (there are pieces that have been displayed in Osmosis Gallery on several occasions), others just keep them or give as gifts. There will also be a juried show early this fall.

To participate in the shows, you have to be a member, which is $45 annually, but anyone can go out. Artists can use whatever medium they want, and there are no limits on how much or how often they can paint.

“Sometimes I go and just draw,” Bradley said. “Then go and paint later, but an initial sketch is good.”

The group is heading to Coot Lake this week after painting Cottonwood Square last week.

“It’s a good group. we know each other pretty well,” Bradley said. “We help each other out, talk about art a lot and have a good time. We found some new places last year and that’s been fun.”

More information on groups in the area can be found at http://www.pleinairartistscolorado.com.


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