Tuesday, October 2, 2012

OLANA Plein Air Painting

There's nothing like getting out of the studio to paint the beautiful Hudson Valley landscape and there's no better place to do that than at the home of Frederic Edwin Church, OLANA.  Church, along with Thomas Cole, founded the Hudson River School of painting, the first art movement in America.  Hudson River School artists try to capture the overall feeling of the grand vistas, beautiful light effects and natural elements of the landscape in the valley. 

In June a call was put out for artists to submit their work for selection as a participating artist in the First Annual Olana Plein Air Paint-Out and Auction.  I submitted my work and was chosen. Along with thirty other artists, I traveled to Olana and painted on the grounds for two days.  The painting I completed was done in one day or session, as most plein air painting is.  While on the grounds, designed by Church so that he could develop paintings of the views, one can't help but to be overwhelmed by the amount of visual information available.  So how do you decide what to paint.  Well, that's just something you know when you see and I couldn't help but to be taken by the shadows from the large oak tree in front of the residence, so that's what I painted.

On Saturday the paintings were delivered to the education center at Olana, hung and later auctioned to raise money for the Olana Partnership and The CCCA.  My painting won First Place which was icing on the cake for me.  I had a great time and could really feel the presence of Frederic Church, knowing that his home and grounds were being used, once again, as he intended.