Douglas Land Conservancy Honors Plein Air Painting at Art Fest

plein air art

Working “en plein air.” Courtesy Denver Land Conservancy

You’ve seen them in galleries and art museums—paintings filled with warm, airy colors that perfectly capture the effect of natural light on a landscape. How does an artist achieve that effect? By working en plein air. The plein air style of painting (literally “open air”) is an invention of the 19th-century French impressionists including Monet, Pissarro and Renoir. It necessitates working outdoors and responding organically to natural surroundings.

This year, the Douglas Land Conservancy is once again honoring the plein air tradition with its “Capturing the Beauty of Open Land” art show and fundraiser. The event, in its fourth year, brings together two dozen Colorado plein air artists to create paintings of protected lands in southern Douglas County—beautiful spaces rarely seen by the public. A gallery exhibit of the artwork will be held June 24-25 at the White Pavilion in downtown Castle Rock, for those interesting in admiring (or purchasing) the pieces.

“We are delighted to bring back such a phenomenal event once again this summer,” says Patti Hostetler, Douglas Land Conservancy’s executive director. “We feel this has become one of Castle Rock’s anticipated summer events and we are thrilled to bring in new artists this year as well as some favorites from previous years.”

Formed in 1987 through a citizen initiative, the Douglas Land Conservancy is dedicated to protecting the central front range region of Colorado, including Douglas County and surrounding areas. A portion of the proceeds from the art sales will support the group’s efforts to protect Colorado’s precious open spaces.

“We created this event to celebrate the natural marrying of the beauty of the land with talented artists,” Hostetler says. “(The artists) will end up producing hundreds of paintings over the course of the week, and these gorgeous pieces truly serve as a reminder of why we live in Colorado.”

Participating artists will be announced in May.

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